Date of Original Version

4-1-1999

Type

Article

Rights Management

Copyright 1999

Abstract or Description

Background and Purpose-This study was undertaken to correlate functional recovery from aphasia after acute stroke with the temporal evolution of the anatomic, physiological, and functional changes as measured by MRI. Methods-Blood oxygenation level-dependent contrast and echo-planar MRI were used to map language comprehension in 6 normal adults and in 2 adult patients during recovery from acute stroke presenting with aphasia. Perfusion, diffusion, sodium, and conventional anatomic MRI were used to follow physiological and structural changes. Results-The normal activation pattern for language comprehension showed activation predominately in left-sided Wernicke's and Broca's areas, with laterality ratios of 0.8 and 0.3, respectively. Recovery of the patient confirmed as having a completed stroke affecting Broca's area occurred rapidly with a shift of activation to the homologous region in the right hemisphere within 3 days, with continued rightward lateralization over 6 months. Ln the second patient, in whom mapping was performed fortuitously before stroke, recovery of a Wernicke's aphasia showed a similar increasing rightward shift in activation recruitment over 9 months after the event. Conclusions-Recovery of aphasia in adults can occur rapidly and is concomitant with an activation pattern that changes from left to a homologous right hemispheric pattern. Such recovery occurs even when the stroke evolves to completion. Such plasticity must be considered when evaluating stroke interventions based on behavioral and neurological measurements.

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Published In

STROKE, 30, 4, 749-754.