Blog Archives

Development of a Short Form of the Boston Naming Test for Individuals With Aphasia

Conclusions: The new short form demonstrates good psychometric properties when used with individuals with aphasia. However, the Mack et al. form proved to be as psychometrically sound as the BNT–Aphasia Short Form and is also appropriate for individuals with aphasia.

from the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research

Supervised Home Training of Dialogue Skills in Chronic Aphasia: A Randomized Parallel Group Study

Conclusion: Supervised home training works. This study has proven that it is an effective tool for bolstering linguistic and communicative skills of individuals with aphasia.

from the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research

Treatment of Category Generation and Retrieval in Aphasia: Effect of Typicality of Category Items

Conclusion: Results of the present study supplement existing data on the effect of a semantically based treatment for lexical retrieval by manipulating the typicality of category examples.

from the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research

A one year prospective study of neurogenic stuttering following stroke: incidence and co-occurring disorders

In this prospective study, data on incidence, stuttering characteristics, co-occurring speech disorders, and recovery of neurogenic stuttering in a large sample of stroke participants were assessed. Following stroke onset, 17 of 319 participants (5.3%; 95% CI, 3.2 to 8.3) met the criteria for neurogenic stuttering. Stuttering persisted in at least 2.5% (95% CI, 1.1 to 4.7) for more than six months following the stroke. Participants with comorbid aphasia presented with a significantly higher frequency of stuttering compared to the group without aphasia (U = 13.00, p(1-tailed) = .02) but no difference was found for participants with co-occurring dysarthria and/or cognitive problems. Participants with neurogenic stuttering did not differ from those without stuttering in terms of stroke risk factors or stroke etiologic subtypes. Although the incidence of stuttering following stroke is lower than that for aphasia or dysarthria, these results show that clinicians should take neurogenic stuttering into account when assessing stroke participants’ speech and language.

from the Journal of Communication Disorders

Extending the use of Spanish Computer-assisted Anomia Rehabilitation Program (CARP-2) in people with aphasia

The Spanish Computer-Assisted Rehabilitation Program (CARP-2) for anomia is an active treatment for a range of people who have anomia as part of their aphasia profile.

from the Journal of Communication Disorders

Effects of language proficiency and language of the environment on aphasia therapy in a multilingual

We examined the relative proficiency of four languages (Spanish, German, French, English) of a multilingual speaker with aphasia, JM. JM’s self-rated proficiency was consistent with his naming accuracy for nouns and verbs (The Object and Action Naming Battery, Druks & Masterson, 2000) and with his performance on selected subtests of the Bilingual Aphasia Test (Paradis & Libben, 1987). Within and between-language changes were measured following two periods of language treatment, one in a highly proficient language (Spanish) and one in a less-proficient language (English). The various outcome measures differed in their sensitivity to treatment-associated changes. Cross-language treatment effects were linked to the language of the environment at the time of testing and to relative language proficiency.

from the Journal of Neurolinguistics

Arnoldus Van Rhijn on aphasia: A forgotten thesis

Very little work was done on aphasia in the 19th century in the Netherlands. Van Rhijn’s thesis, from an aphasiological point of view of limited value, does show that the notions of “centers”, “connections”, and “disorders due to disconnections” were generally known before Wernicke, also in the Netherlands.

from Cortex

Role of the precentral gyrus of the insula in complex articulation

Previous research has suggested that the left anterior insula, specifically the superior precentral gyrus of the insula (SPGI), is a critical brain region for the coordination of complex articulatory movements. However, previous studies have not determined which articulatory factors are specifically dependent on this brain region. In the current study, 33 left hemisphere stroke patients with varying degrees of speech impairment were asked to perform multiple repetitions of single words that varied along three separate dimensions: number of syllables, degree of articulatory travel (i.e., change between places of articulation for consonants), and presence/absence of an initial consonant cluster. The role of the SPGI in performance across the three conditions was determined using voxel-based lesion symptom mapping (VLSM), a statistical approach to lesion analysis that does not require separating patients based on lesion site or symptom profile. Rather, continuous performance data are entered, along with lesions reconstructed in normalized space. Based on preliminary analyses, there was adequate power to detect differences in the SPGI, which was the focus of our predictions. We found that the SPGI was critical for performance on the articulation task across all three conditions, namely, when words were multi-syllabic, required a high degree of travel, or involved an initial consonant cluster. As a control, we also generated a VLSM map for articulation of words with minimal articulatory complexity (i.e., single-syllable words with no initial cluster and a minimal change in place of articulation). In this case, the SPGI was not implicated. The current results suggest that the left SPGI is a critical area for intra- and inter-syllabic coordination of complex articulatory movements, prior to end-stage execution of speech commands.

from Cortex

Effect of Verb Network Strengthening Treatment in Moderate-to-Severe Aphasia

Conclusions: As predicted, the participants did not show the same extent of improvement that was observed in participants with more moderate aphasia (Edmonds, Nadeu, & Kiran, 2009). Nonetheless, the findings suggest that VNeST may be appropriate for persons with moderate-to-severe aphasia, especially with a small adaptation to the treatment protocol that will be retained for future iterations of VNeST.

from American Journal of Speech Language Pathology

Amelioration, regeneration, acquiescent and discordant: an exploration of narrative types and metaphor use in people with aphasia

Aphasia is an acquired communication impairment that affects a person’s ability to use and understand language. The aim of this study was to explore the narrative types and metaphors expressed by people with aphasia, to enhance insight into this experience. A qualitative narrative approach using videoed semi-structured interviews was undertaken with 11 people with aphasia. The transcribed data were analysed for underlying narratives and metaphors. Four types of narratives, labelled amelioration, regeneration, acquiescent and discordant, along with 13 conceptual metaphors used by persons with aphasia to convey their stroke experiences were identified. Metaphors specific to aphasia included aphasia as a thief, aphasia as a barrier, aphasia as a gift and aphasia as enlightenment. These findings facilitate understanding of the experience of aphasia and highlight the different narratives that may be used by the individual to make sense of and respond to their aphasia.

from Disability & Society

Language as a stressor in aphasia

Conclusions: Exploring the putative relationship between anxiety and language in aphasia, through the study of physiologic stress responses, could establish a platform for investigating language changes in the brain in other clinical populations, such as in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or persons with post-traumatic stress disorder, or even with healthy ageing persons, in whom “linguistic anxiety” might be at work when they have trouble finding words.

from Aphasiology

C-Speak Aphasia alternative communication program for people with severe aphasia: Importance of executive functioning and semantic knowledge

Learning how to use a computer-based communication system can be challenging for people with severe aphasia even if the system is not word-based. This study explored cognitive and linguistic factors relative to how they affected individual patients’ ability to communicate expressively using C-Speak Aphasia (CSA), an alternative communication computer program that is primarily picture-based. Ten individuals with severe non-fluent aphasia received at least six months of training with CSA. To assess carryover of training, untrained functional communication tasks (i.e., answering autobiographical questions, describing pictures, making telephone calls, describing a short video, and two writing tasks) were repeatedly probed in two conditions: (1) using CSA in addition to natural forms of communication, and (2) using only natural forms of communication, e.g., speaking, writing, gesturing, drawing. Four of the 10 participants communicated more information on selected probe tasks using CSA than they did without the computer. Response to treatment was also examined in relation to baseline measures of non-linguistic executive function skills, pictorial semantic abilities, and auditory comprehension. Only nonlinguistic executive function skills were significantly correlated with treatment response.

from Neuropsychological Rehabilitation

Aphasia Advocacy and Community Education: Speaking Out! and Beyond

Speaking Out!, a unique co-sponsored national conference, was one of National Aphasia Association’s (NAA) best-known efforts. Recognizing the need to serve a wider aphasia community, NAA partnered with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) Stroke Research and Training Center grant funded by the National Institute on Disability Research and Rehabilitation (NIDRR) to conduct regional conferences modeled on the Speaking Out! proven framework. In June 2010, the first regional Speaking Out! conference was held in Washington, DC. Conference models will be outlined with history and goals; outcomes/lessons learned will be discussed. State-of-the-art features will be summarized with implications for people with aphasia moving forward with their lives.

from Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation

Mortality and Nursing Care Dependency One Year After First Ischemic Stroke: An Analysis of German Statutory Health Insurance Data

Conclusion: Aphasia has a high impact on mortality and nursing care dependency after ischemic stroke, while dementia and depression are strongly associated with increasing nursing care dependency.

from Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS): Potential Progress for Language Improvement in Aphasia

Aphasia researchers and clinicians share some basic beliefs about language recovery post stroke. Most agree there is a spontaneous recovery period and language recovery may be enhanced by participation in a behavioral therapy program. The application of biological interventions in the form of pharmaceutical treatments or brain stimulation is less well understood in the community of people who work with individuals having aphasia. The purpose of this article is to review the literature on electrical brain stimulation as an intervention to improve aphasia recovery. The article will emphasize emerging research on the use of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to accelerate stroke recovery. We will profile the current US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)–approved application to depression to introduce its potential for future application to other syndromes such as aphasia.

from Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation