A team of researchers has developed a method to predict post-stroke recovery of language by measuring the initial severity of impairment.
New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Centre say that the study is important to survivors and their families, as they plan for short and long-term treatment needs.
"We have established the first reliable metric of the current standard care for post-stroke language treatment, and a standard against which future treatments can be compared, said Ronald M. Lazar, Ph.D., professor of clinical neuro-psychology in neurology and neurological surgery, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and a neuro-psychologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Centre.
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, up to 25 percent of all stroke survivors experience language impairments involving the ability to speak, write, and understand spoken and written language. A stroke-induced injury to any of the brain's language-control centres can severely impair verbal communication.
The team found that among patients with mild to moderate aphasia after acute stroke, recovery improved to about 70 percent of their maximum potential recovery, as long as they received some aphasia therapy.
The study is published online in the journal Stroke.