BRAMS – Talk by Simona Brambati
Language recovery in post-stroke aphasia
Abstract: Post-stroke aphasia (PSA), i.e. difficulty producing and/or understanding language, is caused by a perturbation of cerebral blood flow within the brain language network, generally due to an ischemic stroke in the left middle cerebral artery (MCA). PSA affects one-third of stroke survivors. It represents one of the most distressing and handicapping side effect of stroke. Language impairments recover to a variable extent over time. No efficient evidence-based therapies are currently available to optimize language recovery in PSA patients, especially in the early stages of the disease when the brain undergoes major neuroplastic changes. This delay in developing efficient therapies is mainly due to the lack of a comprehensive understanding of the language and brain changes occurring in the early stages of the disease. In fact, the large majority of the literature on PSA focuses on the chronic stage of the disease rather than documenting the early phases of the disease. The presentation will focus on the preliminary data of our laboratory describing spontaneous language deficits and recovery between 3 and 15 days post-stroke, possible early effects of secondary degeneration in the right hemisphere and the role of white matter fiber bundle restoring.
Bio: Simona Brambati obtained her Ph.D. in Molecular Medicine (option Neuroscience) at the Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele of Milan under the supervision of Prof. Stefano Cappa in 2006. She has been a post-doctoral fellow at the Memory and Aging Center (UCSF) from 2005 to 2007 and at the Centre de Recherche de l’Institut Universitaire de Gériatrie de Montreal from 2007 to 2011. She is a Professor at the Department of Psychology at the Université de Montréal since 2011. She is currently Chercheur Boursier FRQS Junior 2. Her research focuses on the neural basis of language deficits and recovery in patients with aphasia. Her research is funded by NSERC, Alzheimer’s Society, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation.