Taking a Look at Aphasia

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Aphasia, commonly a result of prevalent strokes, is a language disorder that predominantly affects expressive and receptive communication in adults. The main motivation of Kurland, Pulvermüller, Silva, Burke and Andrianopoulos was to understand what treatments would be most beneficial for individuals with various types of aphasia and utilize effects seen in neurological imaging as a way to categorize types of aphasia based on various neurological lesion affects (2012).
A variety of literature is referenced to explain constraint induced aphasia therapy (CIAT), the method that was explored in this current study. Past literature provided supportive evidence of significant outcomes in increased naming accuracy, word retrieval and spontaneous functional communication immediately after CIAT treatment. Past research also supported how these improved language functions were maintained for months after treatment, up to 3 and 6 months.
One specific study, previously published by one of the authors, Pulvermüller, was used as evidence to explain CIAT as a treatment approach that focuses on increased use of communication through verbal language only to rehabilitate neurological connections, linking action to communication for increased neural connection in the cortex and replacing nonuse of communication with language that individuals still possess. Other treatments such as unconstrained language therapy use various forms of communication, such as gesturing, written or augmentative, to express language. As the researchers explain, using nonverbal communication can decrease functional verbal communication in individuals who possess some amount of verbal language after a lesion. The researchers felt constraining the output of language as solel...

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...ents and expansions are suggested. Generally it is beneficial to include more participants in a study such as this. Specifically, however, it would be beneficial to include a variety of participants with different types and severities of aphasias to study how CIAT can improve word retrieval through language already known to these individuals. Also, since HBL was noted to have had aphasia for a longer period of time than ITY and at points throughout the experiment was observed to have responded for her, an improvement would be to have individual sessions for participants for better reliability and validity. Internal validity needs to be improved through switching the order of PACE and CIAT across a multitude of participants.
CIAT should be further explored as a treatment approach to improve word retrieval and increase neural connections for individuals with aphasia.
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