Cognitive Communication: Research and Resources A person who experiences traumatic brain injury (TBI) often may also experience post-traumatic nonconvulsive seizures. But what do these seizures mean for long-term outcomes for TBI patients? In a recent study, researchers used continuous EEG (cEEG) to monitor 140 patients with moderate to severe TBI; an in-depth study ... Research in Brief
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Research in Brief  |   February 01, 2011
Cognitive Communication: Research and Resources
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Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Professional Issues & Training / ASHA News & Member Stories / Language Disorders / Aphasia / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Traumatic Brain Injury / Research in Brief
Research in Brief   |   February 01, 2011
Cognitive Communication: Research and Resources
The ASHA Leader, February 2011, Vol. 16, 22-23. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB.16022011.22
The ASHA Leader, February 2011, Vol. 16, 22-23. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB.16022011.22
Research
Post-TBI Seizures and Hippocampal Atrophy
A person who experiences traumatic brain injury (TBI) often may also experience post-traumatic nonconvulsive seizures. But what do these seizures mean for long-term outcomes for TBI patients? In a recent study, researchers used continuous EEG (cEEG) to monitor 140 patients with moderate to severe TBI; an in-depth study of 16 selected patients also was done using serial volumetric MRI acutely (immediately post-trauma) and at six months post-trauma. Flourodeoxyglucose PET also was done in the acute stage in 14 of the 16 patients. These data, collected and analyzed after seven years, revealed that patients with seizures had greater long-term hippocampal atrophy as opposed to those without seizures. The study was published in Neurology.
The Timeline of Aphasia
Although there is much research and knowledge regarding the time course of aphasia recovery immediately post-stroke, not as much information is available on recovery that occurs decades later. Researchers followed the progress of one patient, a 37-year-old man with global aphasia from a large ischemic lesion in the left middle cerebral artery territory. He was tested nine times between three weeks and 25 years post-stroke, using the Milan Language Examination, Token Test, Raven Test, and apraxia tests. Researchers discovered three main periods of recovery. The first year after the stroke was characterized by the recovery of verbal comprehension and word repetition; in the next three years, naming and reading improved; and from three to 25 years, researchers noted progressive improvement of functions as well as spontaneous speech. The study was published in Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair.
Proteins Shed Light on Dementia
Researchers have found a link between two proteins—progranulin and sortilin—that may open new avenues for the treatment of currently untreatable frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). This dementia occurs in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain and generally occurs in younger people, affecting their personality, behavior, and language. FTLD comprises a family of brain diseases believed to share some common molecular features, including a mutation in the gene that produces tau protein in neurons. Mayo Clinic researchers have discovered a mutation in the progranulin gene, finding that 5% to 10% of patients with FTLD have this mutation, and that the mutations lead to a substantial loss of normal progranulin protein production and development of FTLD.
“We now can look for a direct link between these two proteins and the development of FTLD,” said study author Rosa Rademakers. “The hope is that if we do find a strong association, it might be possible to manipulate levels of one or both of these proteins therapeutically.”
The study was published in the Nov. 17, 2010, online issue of the American Journal of Human Genetics.
Resources
ASHA’s evidence maps on TBI in children and adults provide clinicians, researchers, clients, and caregivers with tools and guidance to engage in evidence-based decision-making.
Links to the materials on cognitive communication listed below are available online as well.
ASHA Policy Documents
  • Roles of Speech-Language Pathologists in the Identification, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Individuals With Cognitive-Communication Disorders: Position Statement

  • Knowledge and Skills Needed by Speech-Language Pathologists Providing Services to Individuals With Cognitive-Communication Disorders

  • Rehabilitation of Children and Adults With Cognitive-Communication Disorders After Brain Injury: Technical Report

  • Evaluating and Treating Communication and Cognitive Disorders: Approaches to Referral and Collaboration for Speech-Language Pathology and Clinical Neuropsychology: Technical Report

  • Structure and Function on an Interdisciplinary Team for Persons With Acquired Brain Injury

  • Interdisciplinary Approaches to Brain Damage

Treatment Efficacy Summaries
  • Cognitive-communication disorders resulting from right hemisphere brain damage

  • Cognitive-communication disorders resulting from TBI

Articles in The ASHA Leader
  • “Managing Memory and Metamemory Impairments in Individuals With Traumatic Brain Injury” (Oct. 17, 2006)

  • “A New Kind of Patient for Speech-Language Pathologists” (July 7, 2006)

  • “Traumatic Brain Injury: A Primer for Professionals” (June 25, 2002)

  • “Assessment and Treatment of Cognitive-Communication Disorders in Individuals With Dementia” (Nov. 8, 2005)

Continuing Education
  • Cognitive-communication professional development programs

  • Memory professional development programs

Related Resources
  • Academy of Neurologic Communication Disorders and Sciences (ANCDS) website

  • Cognitive-communication referral guidelines for adults

  • Information for consumers

  • Multicultural readings: Neurogenic disorders

  • Special Interest Division 2, Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders

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February 2011
Volume 16, Issue 2