Is Aphasia More Than Just a Language Disorder? The detrimental effects of aphasia may spread beyond language deficits, according to new research. A small-scale neuroimaging study from Pennsylvania State University (PSU) shows that brain damage in patients with aphasia may be more extensive than previously thought, affecting other cognitive functions such as attention, executive function and nonverbal working ... Research in Brief
Free
Research in Brief  |   June 01, 2017
Is Aphasia More Than Just a Language Disorder?
Author Notes
Article Information
Language Disorders / Aphasia / Research in Brief
Research in Brief   |   June 01, 2017
Is Aphasia More Than Just a Language Disorder?
The ASHA Leader, June 2017, Vol. 22, 14. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB2.22062017.14
The ASHA Leader, June 2017, Vol. 22, 14. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB2.22062017.14
A small-scale neuroimaging study from Pennsylvania State University (PSU) shows that brain damage in patients with aphasia may be more extensive than previously thought, affecting other cognitive functions such as attention, executive function and nonverbal working memory.
“The findings are significant because they can influence how patients with aphasia are treated to ensure a more complete recovery,” says lead author Chaleece Sandberg, PSU assistant professor of communication sciences and disorders. “Aphasia is considered to be strictly a language deficit, but as a field we are starting to embrace the notion that language is not distinct from other functions.”
The study, published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, is part of a growing body of research that points toward reframing the way health professionals understand and treat aphasia.

“Aphasia is considered to be strictly a language deficit, but as a field we are starting to embrace the notion that language is not distinct from other functions.”

Sandberg observed brain function via functional magnetic resonance imaging in seven people (five men, two women) with aphasia and 11 people (six men, five women) who were neurologically healthy. The participants ranged in age from 47 to 75, and those with aphasia were at least six months post-stroke.
For the study, participants were awake, but not performing any task. Regions in the brains of the control-group adults—like those involved in hearing, vision, motor-processing, attention and executive function—were still communicating with one another and were highly connected. In the adults with aphasia, those regions were not as strongly connected—even in areas where brain damage didn’t occur, Sandberg says.
“This suggests widespread problems beyond the specific site of damage, which may cause problems for communication in the whole system, not only in networks that have specific damage,” Sandberg adds.
0 Comments
Submit a Comment
Submit A Comment
Name
Comment Title
Comment


This feature is available to Subscribers Only
Sign In or Create an Account ×
FROM THIS ISSUE
June 2017
Volume 22, Issue 6