Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Intensive training for aphasia: Even older patients can improve

09.01.2013
Older adults who have suffered from aphasia for a long time can nevertheless improve their language function and maintain these improvements in the long term, according to a study by Dr. Ana Inés Ansaldo, PhD, a researcher at the Research Centre of the Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal (University Geriatrics Institute of Montreal) and a professor in the School of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology at the Faculty of Medicine of Université de Montréal. The study was published in Brain and Language.

After six weeks of intensive and specific language therapy, seniors with aphasia demonstrated better performance at naming objects along with better cognitive potential.

"The evidence collected in this functional neuroimaging study shows that language therapy stimulates the brain to use alternate circuits. These new circuits remain active after therapy and can help the person recover additional words. Performance was equivalent six months after the study, and family members told us that they could still see improvements at this point," explained Dr. Ansaldo.

This training not only stimulates the circuits that deal with language but also integrates another major brain system called the default mode network. This network is characterized by activity when the brain is "on standby" and not focused on performing a particular task. For the first time, this study describes the activity of this network in people with aphasia, and points out irregularities associated with this language impairment. Abnormal functioning in the default network has been associated with cognitive deficits, such as attention or episodic memory disorders. The study showed that following speech-therapy, connectivity in the default mode in aphasic subjects reached a similar level to that of the healthy control subjects after therapy.

"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.

William Raillant-Clark | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.umontreal.ca

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Tracking movement of immune cells identifies key first steps in inflammatory arthritis

23.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

Electrocatalysis can advance green transition

23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New technology for mass-production of complex molded composite components

23.01.2017 | Process Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>