Plasticity of language-related brain function during recovery from stroke.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: This study was undertaken to correlate functional recovery from aphasia after acute stroke with the temporal evolution of the anatomic, physiological, and functional changes as measured by MRI. METHODS: Blood oxygenation level-dependent contrast and echo-planar MRI were used to map language comprehension in 6 normal adults and in 2 adult patients during recovery from acute stroke presenting with aphasia. Perfusion, diffusion, sodium, and conventional anatomic MRI were used to follow physiological and structural changes. RESULTS: The normal activation pattern for language comprehension showed activation predominately in left-sided Wernicke's and Broca's areas, with laterality ratios of 0.8 and 0.3, respectively. Recovery of the patient confirmed as having a completed stroke affecting Broca's area occurred rapidly with a shift of activation to the homologous region in the right hemisphere within 3 days, with continued rightward lateralization over 6 months. In the second patient, in whom mapping was performed fortuitously before stroke, recovery of a Wernicke's aphasia showed a similar increasing rightward shift in activation recruitment over 9 months after the event. CONCLUSIONS: Recovery of aphasia in adults can occur rapidly and is concomitant with an activation pattern that changes from left to a homologous right hemispheric pattern. Such recovery occurs even when the stroke evolves to completion. Such plasticity must be considered when evaluating stroke interventions based on behavioral and neurological measurements. (+info)
Training-induced brain plasticity in aphasia.
It has long been a matter of debate whether recovery from aphasia after left perisylvian lesions is mediated by the preserved left hemispheric language zones or by the homologous right hemisphere regions. Using PET, we investigated the short-term changes in the cortical network involved in language comprehension during recovery from aphasia. In 12 consecutive measurements of regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF), four patients with Wernicke's aphasia, caused by a posterior left middle cerebral artery infarction, were tested with a language comprehension task. Comprehension was estimated directly after each scan with a modified version of the Token Test. In the interval between the scans, the patients participated in brief, intense language comprehension training. A significant improvement in performance was observed in all patients. We correlated changes in blood flow measured during the language comprehension task with the scores achieved in the Token Test. The regions which best correlated with the training-induced improvement in verbal comprehension were the posterior part of the right superior temporal gyrus and the left precuneus. This study supports the role of the right hemisphere in recovery from aphasia and demonstrates that the improvement in auditory comprehension induced by specific training is associated with functional brain reorganization. (+info)
Atypical and typical presentations of Alzheimer's disease: a clinical, neuropsychological, neuroimaging and pathological study of 13 cases.
There has been increasing awareness that some slowly progressive focal cortical syndromes can be the presenting features of Alzheimer's disease, but pathological evidence has been sparse. This clinico-pathological series presents our experience with pathologically proven atypical as well as typical Alzheimer's disease presentations. We report and compare four patterns of presentation: a typical pattern with initial amnesic syndrome (n = 4 cases), progressive visual dysfunction (n = 1), progressive biparietal syndrome (n = 2) and progressive aphasia (n = 6). The aphasic presentations include both fluent and non-fluent aphasic syndromes. The neuropsychological profiles and neuroimaging clearly reflect the presenting clinical features, and show a close relationship to the distribution of pathology in these cases. Of note was the sparing of medial temporal structures (hippocampus and/or entorhinal cortex) in several aphasic cases and the severe occipito-parietal involvement in those with prominent visuospatial disorders at presentation. Our data demonstrate the wide spectrum of Alzheimer's disease presentations. The recognition of atypical presentations of Alzheimer's disease is important when attempting to make an early accurate pre-morbid diagnosis of neurodegenerative disease. (+info)
Transcortical sensory aphasia: revisited and revised.
Transcortical sensory aphasia (TSA) is characterized by impaired auditory comprehension with intact repetition and fluent speech. We induced TSA transiently by electrical interference during routine cortical function mapping in six adult seizure patients. For each patient, TSA was associated with multiple posterior cortical sites, including the posterior superior and middle temporal gyri, in classical Wernicke's area. A number of TSA sites were immediately adjacent to sites where Wernicke's aphasia was elicited in the same patients. Phonological decoding of speech sounds was assessed by auditory syllable discrimination and found to be intact at all sites where TSA was induced. At a subset of electrode sites where the pattern of language deficits otherwise resembled TSA, naming and word reading remained intact. Language lateralization testing by intracarotid amobarbital injection showed no evidence of independent right hemisphere language. These results suggest that TSA may result from a one-way disruption between left hemisphere phonology and lexical-semantic processing. (+info)
Vascular aphasias: main characteristics of patients hospitalized in acute stroke units.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Aphasia is frequent in stroke patients and is associated with poor prognosis. However, characteristics and determinants of vascular aphasias remain controversial. The aim of this study was to evaluate aphasia characteristics at the acute stage in patients admitted to a stroke unit. METHODS: The study was performed in 308 patients consecutively assessed with a standardized aphasia battery. RESULTS: Aphasia was observed in 207 patients; global and nonclassified aphasias accounted for 50% of aphasic syndromes at the acute stage, whereas classic aphasias (Wernicke's, Broca's, transcortical, and subcortical aphasias) were less frequent. Age differed across aphasic syndromes in ischemic stroke patients only; patients with conduction aphasia were younger, and patients with subcortical aphasia were older. Sex did not significantly differ across aphasic syndromes. The presence of a previous stroke was more frequent in nonclassified aphasia. CONCLUSIONS: This study shows (1) that vascular aphasias are frequently severe or nonclassic at the acute stage, a finding explained in part by the presence of a previous stroke; (2) that the age effect is due mainly to its influence on infarct location; and (3) that the main determinant of aphasia characteristics is lesion location. (+info)
Speech production: Wernicke, Broca and beyond.
We investigated the brain systems engaged during propositional speech (PrSp) and two forms of non- propositional speech (NPrSp): counting and reciting overlearned nursery rhymes. Bilateral cerebral and cerebellar regions were involved in the motor act of articulation, irrespective of the type of speech. Three additional, left-lateralized regions, adjacent to the Sylvian sulcus, were activated in common: the most posterior part of the supratemporal plane, the lateral part of the pars opercularis in the posterior inferior frontal gyrus and the anterior insula. Therefore, both NPrSp and PrSp were dependent on the same discrete subregions of the anatomically ill-defined areas of Wernicke and Broca. PrSp was also dependent on a predominantly left-lateralized neural system distributed between multi-modal and amodal regions in posterior inferior parietal, anterolateral and medial temporal and medial prefrontal cortex. The lateral prefrontal and paracingulate cortical activity observed in previous studies of cued word retrieval was not seen with either NPrSp or PrSp, demonstrating that normal brain- language representations cannot be inferred from explicit metalinguistic tasks. The evidence from this study indicates that normal communicative speech is dependent on a number of left hemisphere regions remote from the classic language areas of Wernicke and Broca. Destruction or disconnection of discrete left extrasylvian and perisylvian cortical regions, rather than the total extent of damage to perisylvian cortex, will account for the qualitative and quantitative differences in the impaired speech production observed in aphasic stroke patients. (+info)
Effect of lexical cues on the production of active and passive sentences in Broca's and Wernicke's aphasia.
This study compared the sentence production abilities of individuals with Broca's and Wernicke's aphasia in an attempt to explore the extent to which impaired lexical retrieval impedes sentence production. The ability to produce active and passive reversible and non-reversible sentences was examined when varying amounts of lexical information was provided. The results showed that both Wernicke's and Broca's aphasic individuals were impaired in passive sentence production and that these difficulties were not overcome when lexical cues (the relevant nouns and uninflected verb) were provided. However when auxiliary and past tense morphemes were provided along with the verb stem, production of passive sentences improved drastically for both groups. Analysis of error patterns, however, revealed differences between the two groups, suggesting that Broca's aphasic subjects may find passive sentences difficult due to problems with retrieving the relevant grammatical morphemes. Subjects with Wernicke's aphasia may have been unable to automatically access the passive sentence structure. (+info)
Effect of typicality on online category verification of animate category exemplars in aphasia.
Normal young, elderly, Broca's aphasic, and Wernicke's aphasic individuals participated in an online category verification task where primes were superordinate category labels while targets were either typical or atypical examples of animate categories or nonmembers belonging to inanimate categories. The reaction time to judge whether the target belonged to the preceding category label was measured. Results indicated that all four groups made significantly greater errors on atypical examples compared to typical examples. Young and elderly individuals, and Broca's aphasic patients performed similarly on the verification task; these groups demonstrated faster reaction times on typical examples than atypical examples. Wernicke's aphasic patients made the most errors on the task and were slowest to respond than any other participant group. Also, these participants were not significantly faster at accepting correct typical examples compared to correct atypical examples. The results from the four groups are discussed with relevance to prototype/family resemblance models of typicality. (+info)