Changes in white matter connectivity following therapy for anomia post-stroke

van Hees, Sophia, McMahon, Katie, Angwin, Anthony, de Zubicaray, Greig, Read, Stephen and Copland, David A. (2014) Changes in white matter connectivity following therapy for anomia post-stroke. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, 28 4: 325-334. doi:10.1177/1545968313508654

Author van Hees, Sophia
McMahon, Katie
Angwin, Anthony
de Zubicaray, Greig
Read, Stephen
Copland, David A.
Title Changes in white matter connectivity following therapy for anomia post-stroke
Journal name Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1545-9683
Publication date 2014-05
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/1545968313508654
Open Access Status
Volume 28
Issue 4
Start page 325
End page 334
Total pages 10
Place of publication Thousand Oaks, CA, United States
Publisher Sage Publications
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: The majority of studies investigating the neural mechanisms underlying treatment-induced recovery in aphasia have focused on the cortical regions associated with language processing. However, the integrity of the white matter connecting these regions may also be crucial to understanding treatment mechanisms.

Objective: This study investigated the integrity of the arcuate fasciculus (AF) and uncinate fasciculus (UF) before and after treatment for anomia in people with aphasia. Method. Eight people with aphasia received 12 treatment sessions to improve naming; alternating between phonologically-based and semantic-based tasks, with high angular resolution diffusion imaging conducted pre and post treatment. The mean generalized fractional anisotropy (GFA), a measure of fiber integrity, and number of fibers in the AF and UF were compared pre and post treatment, as well as with a group of 14 healthy older controls.

Results: Pre treatment, participants with aphasia had significantly fewer fibers and lower mean GFA in the left AF compared with controls. Post treatment, mean GFA increased in the left AF to be statistically equivalent to controls. Additionally, mean GFA in the left AF pre and post treatment positively correlated with maintenance of the phonologically based treatment. No differences were found in the right AF, or the UF in either hemisphere, between participants with aphasia and controls, and no changes were observed in these tracts following treatment.

Conclusions: Anomia treatments may improve the integrity of the white matter connecting cortical language regions. These preliminary results add to the understanding of the mechanisms underlying treatment outcomes in people with aphasia post stroke.
Keyword Aphasia
Diffusion imaging
Arcuate fasciculus
Uncinate fasciculus
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online 2 December 2013

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Created: Wed, 08 Jan 2014, 15:31:30 EST by Sandrine Ducrot on behalf of Centre for Advanced Imaging