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Intensive training for aphasia: Even older patients can improve
Date:1/8/2013

erapy.

"The results of this study are encouraging regarding the aging brain's potential to recover. Thus, seniors who have had aphasia for many years are often no longer receiving treatment for their condition. We have shown that language therapy has a positive impact even long time after stroke, and not only on language but also on general cognition, as shown by the positive changes in the default network. My hope is that these findings will change clinical attitudes towards seniors who suffer from language disorders, by providing intensive, specific and focused stimulation for these patients. This therapy leads to very promising outcomes, even long after diagnosis," concluded Dr. Ansaldo.

Research summary

Previous research on participants with aphasia has mainly been based on standard functional neuroimaging analysis. Recent studies have shown that functional connectivity analysis can detect compensatory activity, not revealed by standard analysis. Little is known, however, about the default-mode network in aphasia. In the current study, we studied changes in the default-mode network in subjects with aphasia who underwent semantic feature analysis therapy. We studied nine participants with chronic aphasia and compared them to ten control participants. For the first time, we identified the default-mode network using spatial independent component analysis, in participants with aphasia. Intensive therapy improved integration in the posterior areas of the default-mode network concurrent with language improvement. Correlations between integration and improvement did not reach significance, but the trend suggests that pre-therapy integration of the default-mode network may predict therapy outcomes. Functional connectivity allows a better understanding of the impact of semantic feature analysis in aphasia.


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Contact: William Raillant-Clark
w.raillant-clark@umontreal.ca
514-343-7593
University of Montreal
Source:Eurekalert

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