Part 3: New Approaches to Characterisation and New Therapeutic Approaches.
New Approaches to Characterisation: Multilingual speakers.
Since the same types of aphasia look different from one language to another, we are attempting to distinguish between
• universal symptoms of aphasia and
• those that are language specific.
Researchers are also looking at how treatment of other cognitive deficits involving attention and memory can improve communication deficits.
We hope that these studies may help with the
• development of tests tailored to specific characteristics of individual languages and
• in clinical services to bilingual communities.
New Therapeutic Approaches: Drugs, Speech Therapy and Computers
Pharmacotherapy is a new, experimental approach to treating aphasia.
Dr Alex Leff, a neurologist in the language group is testing
• how drugs can be used in combination with speech therapy
• to improve recovery of speech comprehension
• by increasing the task-related flow of activation in the left hemisphere of the brain.
Previous studies indicate that drugs may help improve aphasia in acute stroke and as an adjuvant to language therapy in postacute and chronic aphasia.
The additional treatment approach uses computers to improve the speech comprehension abilities of people with aphasia.
Studies have shown that people who have auditory problems perceiving the difference between phonemes can benefit from computers, which can be used for speech-therapeutic auditory discrimination exercises.
If you have any other questions or would like to get involved in our research please contact Jenny Crinion:
MRC Clinical Scientist
Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
University College London
17 Queen Square
London WC1N 3AR
Tel +44 207 679 1129
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