Healthy Volunteers
healthy people welcome
at San Francisco, California and other locations
study started
completion around



Primary progressive aphasia (PPA) is a disorder characterized by gradual decline in speech-language ability caused by underlying neurodegenerative disease. PPA is a devastating condition that can affect adults as young as their 50's, depriving them of the ability to communicate and function in society. Along with Alzheimer's Disease and other Alzheimer's Disease Related Dementias (AD/ADRD), PPA is now identified earlier and with greater precision. Increasingly, patients and families seek options for behavioral and neuromodulatory treatments to address PPA's devastating effects on communication, prolong speech-language skills, and maximize quality of life. Studies have documented the robust benefits of speech-language telerehabilitation methods for persons with PPA, with in-home treatment resulting in immediate and long-term benefits. This investigation aims to further enhance the potency of these treatment approaches by pairing them with tailored neuromodulatory intervention that targets critical brain networks supporting treatment in each clinical subtype of PPA. The study will evaluate the feasibility and preliminary benefit of home-based transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) combined with evidence-based speech-language telerehabilitation methods. tDCS will be delivered to patients in their own homes and site of stimulation will be tailored for each clinical subtype of PPA. This project has the potential to enhance clinical management and rehabilitation for individuals with PPA by establishing the benefit of behavioral and neuromodulatory treatment that is neurobiologically-motivated and accessible for patients and families.

Official Title

Telerehabilitation With Remotely-Supervised tDCS in Progressive Aphasia


Primary Progressive Aphasia, Speech-Language Pathology, Fronto-Temporal Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Neurodegenerative Disease, Logopenic, Semantic, Nonfluent, Logopenic Variant Primary Progressive Aphasia, Semantic Variant Primary Progressive Aphasia, Nonfluent Variant Primary Progressive Aphasia, Semantic Dementia, Speech Entrainment, Script Training, Teletherapy, Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation, Remotely-Supervised Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation, Lexical Retrieval, Noninvasive Brain Stimulation, Telehealth, Aphasia, Pick Disease of the Brain, Frontotemporal Dementia, Remotely supervised Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (RS-tDCS), Lexical Retrieval Training (LRT), Video Implemented Script Training in Aphasia (VISTA), RS-LRT, RS-VISTA


Because PPA is a rare disease, the study aims to recruit all eligible participants with PPA who are referred to the Aphasia Research and Treatment Lab at the University of Texas (UT) Austin, the UT/Dell Medical School Department of Neurology, and the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) Memory and Aging Center, as well as individuals with PPA from other clinical and research sites. The study will aim to include males, females, and transgender or non-binary individuals. Great efforts will be made to recruit participants from minority populations, subject to the limitation that participants need to be fluent speakers of English.

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Meets diagnostic criteria for PPA
  • Meets diagnostic criteria for a specific variant of PPA
  • Score of 20 or higher on the Mini-Mental State Examination
  • Adequate hearing and vision (with hearing or vision aids, if needed)
  • Has a study partner that can co-enroll in the study and attend pre-treatment training as well as continue to be present for weekly teleconference meetings
  • Able and willing to undergo MRI brain scan
  • Access to high speed internet

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Speech and language deficits better accounted for by another neurological disorder
  • Does not meet diagnostic criteria for a specific variant of PPA
  • Score of less than 20 on the Mini-Mental State Examination
  • Does not have a study partner who can co-enroll in the study
  • Contraindications for tDCS or MRI scan (History of seizures, head injury, craniotomy, skull surgery or fracture; History of severe or frequent migraines; Metallic implant in head or any metal in head; Pacemaker or cardioverter-defibrillator or any other stimulator; Chronic skin problems; Pregnancy)
  • History of stroke, epilepsy, or significant brain injury


  • Memory and Aging Center, UCSF
    San Francisco California 94158 United States
  • University of Texas
    Austin Texas 78712 United States


in progress, not accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of Texas at Austin
University of Texas Aphasia Research and Treatment Lab UCSF Language Neurobiology Lab
Study Type
Expecting 10 study participants
Last Updated