Functional re-recruitment of dysfunctional brain areas predicts language recovery in chronic aphasia

Meinzer, Marcus, Flaisch, Tobias, Breitenstein, Catorina, Wienbruch, Christian, Elbert, Thomas and Rockstroh, Brigitte (2008) Functional re-recruitment of dysfunctional brain areas predicts language recovery in chronic aphasia. Neuroimage, 39 4: 2038-2046. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2007.10.008

Author Meinzer, Marcus
Flaisch, Tobias
Breitenstein, Catorina
Wienbruch, Christian
Elbert, Thomas
Rockstroh, Brigitte
Title Functional re-recruitment of dysfunctional brain areas predicts language recovery in chronic aphasia
Journal name Neuroimage   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1053-8119
Publication date 2008-02-15
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2007.10.008
Volume 39
Issue 4
Start page 2038
End page 2046
Total pages 9
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Abstract Functional recovery in response to a brain lesion, such as a stroke, can even occur years after the incident and may be accelerated by effective rehabilitation strategies. In eleven chronic aphasia patients, we administered a short-term intensive language training to improve language functions and to induce cortical reorganization under rigorously controlled conditions. Overt naming performance was assessed during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) prior to and immediately after the language training. Regions of interest (ROIs) for statistical analyses were constituted by areas with individually determined abnormally high densities of slow wave generators (identified by magnetoencephalography prior to the language intervention) that clustered mainly in left perilesional areas. Three additional individually defined regions served to control for the specificity of the results for the selected respective target region: the homologue area of the individual patient’s lesion, the mirror image of the delta ROI in the right hemisphere and left hemispheric regions that did not produce a significant amount of slow wave activity. Treatment-induced changes of fMRI brain activation were highly correlated with improved naming of the trained pictures, but selectively within the pre-training dysfunctional perilesional brain areas. Our results suggest that remodeling of cortical functions is possible even years after a stroke. The behavioral gain seems to be mediated by brain regions that had been partially deprived from input after the initial stroke. We therefore provide first time direct evidence for the importance of treatment-induced functional reintegration of perilesional areas in a heterogeneous sample of chronic aphasia patients.
Keyword Naming deficits
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ
Additional Notes Published online 18 October 2007

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: UQ Centre for Clinical Research Publications
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