Blog Archives

Semantic assessment battery for Malay-speaking adults with aphasia

Conclusions: The Malay Semantic Battery provides an example of how culturally and linguistically appropriate assessment tools can be developed from first principles at minimal cost. Details of the battery will be made available to clinicians online, or through e-mail, to support their planning of targeted intervention programmes.

from Aphasiology

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Communication disorders in the elderly

The percentage of elderly individuals in the general population is increasing because of rising average life expectancy. Elderly people today enjoy much more active and more communicative lives than previous generations. However, due to age related changes and the increasing prevalence of diseases affecting phonation, articulation, respiration, speech, deglutition and their neurological regulation mechanisms – dysphonia, dysarthria, aphasia/dysphasia and dysphagia, they are becoming more frequent in this population group. These communication disorders can cause social isolation, anxiety and depression. Patients and family members alike suffer from the negative impact these disorders have on communication and quality of life. The prevalence of age related voice problems in the elderly is reported to be as high as 20–47%, for speech and/or language problems 70–75%, and up to 40% for dysphagia. There is a growing need for effective therapeutic approaches to communication disorders in the elderly. Physiological age related changes, the causes of communication disorders in the elderly, their impact on daily life, and rehabilitative options are presented.

from Audiological Medicine

Semantic access dysphasia resulting from left temporal lobe tumours

Unlike semantic degradation disorders, the mechanisms and the anatomical underpinnings of semantic access disorders are still unclear. We report the results of a case series study on the effects of temporal lobe gliomas on semantic access abilities of a group of 20 patients. Patients were tested 1–2 days before and 4–6 days after the removal of the tumour. Their semantic access skills were assessed with two spoken word-to-picture matching tasks, which aimed to separately control for rate of presentation, consistency and serial position effects (Experiment 1) and for word frequency and semantic distance effects (Experiment 2). These variables have been held to be critical in characterizing access in contrast to degraded-store semantic deficits, with access deficits characterized by inconsistency of response, better performance with slower presentation rates and with semantically distant stimuli, in the absence of frequency effects. Degradation deficits show the opposite pattern. Our results showed that low-grade slowly growing tumours tend not to produce signs of access problems. However, high-grade tumours especially within the left hemisphere consistently produce strong semantic deficits of a clear access type: response inconsistency and strong semantic distance effects in the absence of word frequency effects were detected. However, effects of presentation rate and serial position were very weak, suggesting non-refractory behaviour in the tumour patients tested. This evidence, together with the results of lesion overlapping, suggests the presence of a type of non-refractory semantic access deficit. We suggest that this deficit could be caused by the disconnection of posterior temporal lexical input areas from semantic system.

from Brain

Semantic access dysphasia resulting from left temporal lobe tumours

Unlike semantic degradation disorders, the mechanisms and the anatomical underpinnings of semantic access disorders are still unclear. We report the results of a case series study on the effects of temporal lobe gliomas on semantic access abilities of a group of 20 patients. Patients were tested 1–2 days before and 4–6 days after the removal of the tumour. Their semantic access skills were assessed with two spoken word-to-picture matching tasks, which aimed to separately control for rate of presentation, consistency and serial position effects (Experiment 1) and for word frequency and semantic distance effects (Experiment 2). These variables have been held to be critical in characterizing access in contrast to degraded-store semantic deficits, with access deficits characterized by inconsistency of response, better performance with slower presentation rates and with semantically distant stimuli, in the absence of frequency effects. Degradation deficits show the opposite pattern. Our results showed that low-grade slowly growing tumours tend not to produce signs of access problems. However, high-grade tumours especially within the left hemisphere consistently produce strong semantic deficits of a clear access type: response inconsistency and strong semantic distance effects in the absence of word frequency effects were detected. However, effects of presentation rate and serial position were very weak, suggesting non-refractory behaviour in the tumour patients tested. This evidence, together with the results of lesion overlapping, suggests the presence of a type of non-refractory semantic access deficit. We suggest that this deficit could be caused by the disconnection of posterior temporal lexical input areas from semantic system.

from Brain