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Aphasia clinical trials at UC Irvine

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  • Neural Bases of Vocal Sensorimotor Impairment in Aphasia

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    Aphasia is the most common type of post-stroke communication disorder characterized by deficits in speech comprehension, production and control. While recovery can be promoted with speech therapy, improvement remains modest and typically requires a large number of sessions contributing to rising health care costs. Traditional aphasia therapy focus on enhancing speech motor output; however, recent evidence suggests that the auditory feedback also plays a critical role in fluent speech. Therefore, a key step toward refining treatment strategies is to develop objective biomarkers that can probe the integrity of sensorimotor mechanisms of speech auditory feedback and identify their impaired function in patients with post-stroke aphasia. This study aims to examine the behavioral, neurophysiological (EEG), and neuroimaging (fMRI) biomarkers of speech impairment following stroke with focus on understanding the role of auditory feedback for speech production and control. We plan to test individuals with post-stroke aphasia and a matched neuroptypical control group during different speech production tasks under the altered auditory feedback paradigm. In addition, we aim to examine the effect of audio-visual feedback training on enhancing communication ability during speech. These biomarkers will be combined with existing lesion-symptom-mapping data in the aphasic group in order to identify the patterns of brain damage and diminished structural connectivity within the auditory-motor areas of the left hemisphere that predict impaired sensorimotor processing of speech in aphasia. The long-term goal of this research is to develop a model for identifying the source of sensorimotor deficit and improve diagnosis and targeted treatment of speech disorders in aphasia.

    Irvine, California and other locations

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