Authors: Breier JI, Juranek J, Maher LM, Schmadeke S, Men D, Papanicolaou AC
Title: Behavioral and Neurophysiologic Response to Therapy for Chronic Aphasia
Source: Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2009 90(12): 2026-2033
Year: 2009
Research Design: Case Series

Objective: To characterize the relationship between neurophysiologic changes in the brain and behavioral response to constraint-induced language therapy (CILT) by using magnetoencephalography (MEG). Design: Case series. Setting: Medical school. Participants: Patients (N=23) with chronic aphasia after first-time unilateral stroke in the left hemisphere. Interventions: Constraint-induced language therapy administered for 3 hours 4 times per week for 3 weeks. Language testing and functional imaging during a language comprehension task using MEG before, immediately after, and 3 months after CILT with a subgroup of patients undergoing additional MEG scanning and language testing 3 weeks before CILT. Main Outcome Measures: The percent of correct information units and the number of late dipoles normalized to total activation. Results: Three patterns of behavioral and neurophysiologic response to CILT were identified. Patients with significant improvement in language immediately after CILT who lost these gains at follow-up had greater right hemisphere activation than other patients at all MEG scanning sessions. Patients with significant improvement in language immediately after CILT who maintained these gains at follow-up exhibited an increase in left temporal activation after CILT, whereas patients who did not exhibit significant improvement in language after CILT exhibited comparably greater activation in left parietal areas. Conclusions: Results suggest that although the right hemisphere may support recovery of language function in response to therapy, this recovery may not be stable, and some participation of perilesional areas of the left hemisphere may be necessary for a stable behavioral response.

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