Brain Imaging Could Predict Aphasia Post-Stroke Brain mapping after a stroke could help determine if a patient will have language deficits—and how severe they will be—suggests new research from the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and the University of South Carolina. Imaging all the white matter connections in the brain (known as the “connectome”), as ... Research in Brief
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Research in Brief  |   October 01, 2016
Brain Imaging Could Predict Aphasia Post-Stroke
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Special Populations / Language Disorders / Aphasia / Research in Brief
Research in Brief   |   October 01, 2016
Brain Imaging Could Predict Aphasia Post-Stroke
The ASHA Leader, October 2016, Vol. 21, 14. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB2.21102016.14
The ASHA Leader, October 2016, Vol. 21, 14. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB2.21102016.14
Brain mapping after a stroke could help determine if a patient will have language deficits—and how severe they will be—suggests new research from the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and the University of South Carolina.
Imaging all the white matter connections in the brain (known as the “connectome”), as well as the areas of cortical tissue (gray matter) damaged by the stroke, “enables the identification of individual signatures of brain organization that can be used to predict the nature and severity of language deficits,” says MUSC Health neurologist Leonardo Bonilha, senior author of the study, which appears in the Journal of Neuroscience.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is used post-stroke to evaluate lesions in gray matter, but these results alone typically don’t offer a clear way to predict aphasia severity, says Bonilha. But with the addition of connectome mapping, he says, the picture becomes more clear.
Using MRIs and diffusion imaging, Bonilha and his team observed 90 patients (34 women and 56 men, ages 31 to 81) who had aphasia brought on by a single stroke no less than six months prior. Later, they used an algorithm to analyze the data and predict language deficiency outcomes of the patients, who had previously been assessed using the Western Aphasia Battery (WAB) test.
Analysis based on connectome was as accurate as cortical lesion mapping in predicting WAB scores, and it was superior at predicting auditory comprehension scores. It was slightly less accurate in predicting scores of speech fluency, speech repetition and naming.
“By mapping much more accurately the individual pattern of brain structural connectivity in a stroke survivor, we can determine the integrity of neuronal networks and better understand what was lesioned and how that relates to language abilities that are lost,” says Bonilha.
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October 2016
Volume 21, Issue 10