Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New technique helps stroke victims communicate

Date:
January 15, 2013
Source:
University of South Carolina
Summary:
Researchers have developed a speech technique to aid stroke victims with aphasia.

Stroke victims affected with loss of speech caused by Broca's aphasia have been shown to speak fluidly through the use of a process called "speech entrainment" developed by researchers at the University of South Carolina's Arnold School of Public Health.

Aphasia, a severe communication problem caused by damage to the brain's left hemisphere and characterized by halting speech, occurs in about one-third of people who have a stroke and affects personal and professional relationships. Using the speech entrainment technique, which involves mimicking other, patients showed significant improvement in their ability to speak.

The results of the study are published in a recent issue of the neurology journal Brain.

"This is the first time that we have seen people with Broca's aphasia speak in fluent sentences," said Julius Fridriksson, the study's lead researcher and a professor with the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the Arnold School. "It is a small study that gives us an understanding of how the brain functions after a stroke, and it offers hope for thousands of people who suffer strokes each year."

In Fridriksson's study, 13 patients completed three separate behavioral tasks that were used to understand the effects of speech entrainment on speech production. During the "speech entrainment-audio visual" portion of the study, participants attempted to mimic a speaker in real-time whose mouth was made visible on the 3.5-inch screen of an iPod Touch and whose speech was heard via headphones.

The "speech entrainment-audio only" condition involved real-time mimicking speech presented via headphones with the screen of the iPod blank. During a spontaneous speech condition, patients spoke about a given topic without external aid.

Each patient also completed a three-week training phase where they practiced speech every day with the aid of speech entrainment. Overall, the training resulted in improved spontaneous speech production, something that is relatively rare in this population. Ultimately the patients were able to produce a short script about their stroke to tell to other people.

Neuroimaging results from the patient subjects have also given Fridriksson and his research team a greater understanding of the mechanism involved in speech entrainment.

"Preliminary results suggest that training with speech entrainment improves speech production in Broca's aphasia, providing a potential therapeutic method for a disorder that has been shown to be particularly resistant to treatment," Fridriksson said.

Click here to see an online video of speech entrainment. The video features a former Green Beret and career military officer who suffered a stroke in his 50s and has been unable to speak for about 22 years, except for a couple of phrases. The video first shows him speaking with and without audio-visual speech feedback. The patient struggles to produce spontaneous speech but is able to mimic fluent speech using audio-visual feedback.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of South Carolina. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. Fridriksson, H. I. Hubbard, S. G. Hudspeth, A. L. Holland, L. Bonilha, D. Fromm, C. Rorden. Speech entrainment enables patients with Broca's aphasia to produce fluent speech. Brain, 2012; 135 (12): 3815 DOI: 10.1093/brain/aws301

Cite This Page:

University of South Carolina. "New technique helps stroke victims communicate." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130115153519.htm>.
University of South Carolina. (2013, January 15). New technique helps stroke victims communicate. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130115153519.htm
University of South Carolina. "New technique helps stroke victims communicate." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130115153519.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) In a small study, researchers found that the majority of long-time smokers quit after taking psilocybin pills and undergoing therapy sessions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins