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Psychophysiological Analysis of the Influence of Vasopressin on Speech in Patients with Post-Stroke Aphasias

  • Sergei G. Tsikunov (a1) and Svetlana G. Belokoskova (a1)


Speech is an attribute of the human species. Central speech disorders following stroke are unique models for the investigation of the organization of speech. Achievements in neurobiology suggest that there are possible neuroendocrine mechanisms involved in the organization of speech. It is known that the neuropeptide vasotocin, analogous of vasopressin in mammals, modulates various components of vocalization in animals. Furthermore, the positive influence of vasopressin on memory, which plays an important role in the formation of speech, has been described. In this study, speech organization processes and their recovery with the administration of vasopressin (1-desamino-8-D-arginin-vasopressin) to 26 patients with chronic aphasias after stroke were investigated. Results showed that sub-endocrine doses of the neuropeptide with intranasal administration had positive influence primarily on simple forms of speech and secondarily on composite forms. There were no statistically significant differences between the sensory and integrative components of the organization of speech processes with vasopressin. In all cases, the positive effect of the neuropeptide was demonstrated. As a result of the effects, speech regulated by both brain hemispheres improved. It is suggested that the neuropeptide optimizes the activity both in the left and right hemispheres, with primary influence on the right hemisphere. The persistence of the acquired effects is explained by an induction of compensatory processes resulting in the reorganization of the intra-central connections by vasopressin.

El habla es un atributo de la especie humana. Los trastornos centrales del habla después de una trombosis cerebral son modelos únicos para la investigación de la organización del habla. Los logros en la neurobiología sugieren que posiblemente haya mecanismos neuroendocrinos implicados en la organización del habla. Se sabe que el neuropéptido vasotocina, análogo de la vasopresina en los mamíferos, modula varios componentes de la vocalización en los animales. Además, se ha descrito la influencia positiva de la vasopresina en la memoria, que juega un papel importante en la formación del habla. En este estudio, se investigaron los procesos de la organización del habla y su recuperación con la administración de la vasopresina (1-desamino-8-D-arginin-vasopressin) a 26 pacientes con afasias crónicas después de una trombosis cerebral. Los resultados mostraron que las dosis sub-endocrinas del neuropéptido con administración intranasal tuvo influencia positiva primariamente en las formas simples del habla y, de manera secundaria, en las formas compuestas. No hubo diferencias estadísticamente significativas entre los componentes sensoriales e integrativos de la organización de los procesos del habla con vasopresina. En todos los casos, se demostró el efecto positivo del neuropéptido. Como resultado de los efectos, mejoró el habla regulado por ambos hemisferios. Se sugiere que el neuropéptido optimiza la actividad tanto en el hemisferio izquierdo como en el derecho, con influencia primaria sobre el hemisferio derecho. La persistencia de los efectos adquiridos se explica por la inducción de procesos compensatorios como resultado de la reorganización de las conexiones intra-centrales por la vasopresina.


Corresponding author

Correspondence concerning this article should be sent to S.G. Tsikunov, Ph.D. Head of the Laboratory of Psychophysiology of Emotions of NIIEM RAMN. ul. Akad. Pavlova 12, GU NII EM RAMN, St. Petersburg, Russia, 197376: or to S.G. Belokoskova, Ph.D. Researcher, neurologist in the Neurological Clinic of NIIEM RAMN. .E-mail:


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Psychophysiological Analysis of the Influence of Vasopressin on Speech in Patients with Post-Stroke Aphasias

  • Sergei G. Tsikunov (a1) and Svetlana G. Belokoskova (a1)


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