Friday, October 01, 2010

Aphasia and brain re-wiring

My own struggle with aphasia and recovery included some serious brain re-wiring, speech therapy and simple time.

Now, new research gives some voice to stroke survivors struggling with language issues. The brain is more resilient, more capable of recovery, than previously thought.

Study finds evidence of post-stroke brain recovery:
Julius Fridriksson, a researcher at the University of South Carolina's  Arnold School of Public Health, said the findings offer hope to patients of “chronic stroke,” characterized by the death of cells in a specific area of the brain. The damage results in long-term or permanent disability.

“For years, we heard little about stroke recovery because it was believed that very little could be done,” Fridriksson said. “But this study shows that the adult brain is quite capable of changing, and we are able to see those images now. This will substantially change the treatment for chronic-stroke patients.”

The study, reported in the Sept. 15 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, involved 26 patients with aphasia, a communication disorder caused by damage to the language regions in the brain’s left hemisphere. Aphasia impairs a person’s ability to process language and formulate speech.

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