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Recovery from aphasia as a function of language therapy in an early bilingual patient demonstrated by fMRI

Authors
Journal
Neuropsychologia
0028-3932
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
45
Issue
6
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2006.10.003
Keywords
  • Language Disorder
  • Stroke
  • Bilingualism
  • Treatment
  • Functional Imaging
Disciplines
  • Medicine

Abstract

Abstract Knowledge about the recovery of language functions in bilingual aphasic patients who suffer from left-hemispheric stroke is scarce. Here, we present the case of an early bilingual patient (German/French) with chronic aphasia. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to investigate neural correlates of language performance during an overt picture naming task in German and French (a) 32 months after stroke to assess differential recovery of both languages as a function of the preceding language therapy that was provided exclusively in German and (b) after additional short-term intensive (German) language training. At the first investigation behavioral performance confirmed selective recovery of German naming ability which was associated with increased functional brain activation compared to the French naming condition. Changes in behavioral performance and brain activation pattern as disclosed by fMRI after an additional experimental treatment were confined to the trained (German) language and indicate bilateral neuroplastic reorganization. No generalization to the untrained (French) language was observed. The present case results demonstrate use and/or training-dependent differential recovery of expressive language functions and an enhanced pattern of brain activation as a function of the rehabilitation efforts that were focussed exclusively on the patient's German language abilities.

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