Attention and Other Cognitive Deficits in Aphasia: Presence and Relation to Language and Communication Measures

Indiana University, Bloomington, USA.
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology (Impact Factor: 1.64). 01/2012; 21(2):S51-64. DOI: 10.1044/1058-0360(2012/11-0067)
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This study was designed to further elucidate the relationship between cognition and aphasia, with a focus on attention. It was hypothesized that individuals with aphasia would display variable deficit patterns on tests of attention and other cognitive functions and that their attention deficits, particularly those of complex attention functions, would be related to their language and communication status.
A group of individuals with varying types and severity of aphasia and a group of age- and education-matched adults with no brain damage completed tests of attention, short-term and working memory, and executive functioning.
Overall, the group with aphasia performed significantly more poorly than the control group on the cognitive measures but displayed variability in the presence, types, and severity of their attention and other cognitive deficits. Correlational and regression analyses yielded significant relations between participants' attention deficits and their language and communication status.
The findings accorded well with prior research identifying (a) attention and other cognitive deficits in most but not all individuals with aphasia; (b) heterogeneity in the types and severity of attention and other cognitive symptoms among individuals with cognitive impairments; and (c) potent associations among attention, language, and other cognitive domains. Implications for clinical practice and future research are discussed.

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    • "Murray analizowała szeroki zakres nielingwistycznych funkcji poznawczych, włączając funkcje wykonawcze (Test Płynności Figuralnej Ruffa), u 39 chorych z różnymi typami afazji oraz 39 osób zdrowych z grupy kontrolnej. Autorka sugeruje, że chorzy z afazją wykazują trudności w zakresie planowania oraz osłabienie elastyczności poznawczej [56]. Inni badacze dowodzą, że deficyty w zakresie przechowywania informacji semantycznych w pamięci krótkotrwałej mogą być związane z zaburzeniem funkcji wykonawczych. "
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives The purpose of this paper is review of research on the co-occurrence of executive dysfunction in patients with aphasia after stroke. Review Aphasic speech disorders and cognitive dysfunctions are frequent consequences of the irregularities in the blood flow within the brain. Aphasia, apart from language deficits, may be accompanied by non-linguistic cognitive disorders. More and more often the co-existence of speech disorders of aphasia and the disorders of executive functions are considered. The role of executive functions is connected with the processes of planning, creating strategies, monitoring actions, self-regulation, and integration of various cognitive modalities. These activities are undoubtedly coupled with the process of speech generation. Therefore, the effective communication depends on the integrity of executive functions. Conclusions In the present paper the author has presented a survey of researches on the executive functions disorders and aphasia after stroke. In the researches the author has evaluated the level of executive functions with the application of neuropsychological methods as well as compared those results in terms of various aspects of verbal functioning, capability to communicate and conducting conversations among people with aphasia. In addition, as studies argue, the efficiency of executive functions has a significant impact on the effectiveness of aphasia rehabilitation.
    Postepy Psychiatrii i Neurologii 03/2014; 23(1):41–46. DOI:10.1016/
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    • "Accordingly, an increasing number of studies in aphasia rehabilitation acknowledge the important contribution of multiple factors of cognition to therapy outcomes and communicative success (Fridriksson, Nettles, Davis, Morrow, & Montgomery, 2006; Helm-Estabrooks, 2002; Keil & Kaszniak, 2002; Ramsberger, 2005). Researchers have identified skills that might be important towards constructing and retrieving language, such as attention (Erickson, Goldinger, & LaPointe, 1996; Hula & McNeil, 2008; Lesniak, Bak, Czepiel, Seniow, & Czlonkowska, 2008; Murray, 2012; Peach, Rubin, & Newhoff, 1994), executive function (Keil & Kaszniak, 2002; Lesniak et al., 2008; Ramsberger, 2005; Zinn, Bosworth, Hoenig, & Swartwelder, 2007), concept Contents lists available at SciVerse ScienceDirect journal homepage: Neuropsychologia knowledge (Chertkow, Bub, Deaudon, & Whitehead, 1997) and memory (Helm-Estabrooks, 2002; LaPointe & Erickson, 1991). "
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    ABSTRACT: Though aphasia is primarily characterized by impairments in the comprehension and/or expression of language, research has shown that patients with aphasia also show deficits in cognitive-linguistic domains such as attention, executive function, concept knowledge and memory (Helm-Estabrooks, 2002 for review). Research in aphasia suggests that cognitive impairments can impact the online construction of language, new verbal learning, and transactional success (Freedman & Martin, 2001; Hula & McNeil, 2008; Ramsberger, 2005). In our research, we extend this hypothesis to suggest that general cognitive deficits influence progress with therapy. The aim of our study is to explore learning, a cognitive process that is integral to relearning language, yet underexplored in the field of aphasia rehabilitation. We examine non-linguistic category learning in patients with aphasia (n=19) and in healthy controls (n=12), comparing feedback and non-feedback based instruction. Participants complete two computer-based learning tasks that require them to categorize novel animals based on the percentage of features shared with one of two prototypes. As hypothesized, healthy controls showed successful category learning following both methods of instruction. In contrast, only 60% of our patient population demonstrated successful non-linguistic category learning. Patient performance was not predictable by standardized measures of cognitive ability. Results suggest that general learning is affected in aphasia and is a unique, important factor to consider in the field of aphasia rehabilitation.
    Neuropsychologia 11/2012; 51(1). DOI:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2012.10.024 · 3.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aphasic patients often exhibit increased right hemisphere activity during language tasks. This may represent takeover of function by regions homologous to the left-hemisphere language networks, maladaptive interference, or adaptation of alternate compensatory strategies. To distinguish between these accounts, we tested language comprehension in 25 aphasic patients using an online sentence-picture matching paradigm while measuring brain activation with MEG. Linguistic conditions included semantically irreversible ("The boy is eating the apple") and reversible ("The boy is pushing the girl") sentences at three levels of syntactic complexity. As expected, patients performed well above chance on irreversible sentences, and at chance on complex reversible sentences of high complexity. Comprehension of reversible non-complex sentences ranged from nearly perfect to chance, and was highly correlated with offline measures of language comprehension. Lesion analysis revealed that comprehension deficits for reversible sentences were predicted by damage to the left temporal lobe. Although aphasic patients activated homologous areas in the right temporal lobe, such activation was not correlated with comprehension performance. Rather, patients with better comprehension exhibited increased activity in dorsal fronto-parietal regions. Correlations between performance and dorsal network activity occurred bilaterally during perception of sentences, and in the right hemisphere during a post-sentence memory delay. These results suggest that effortful reprocessing of perceived sentences in short-term memory can support improved comprehension in aphasia, and that strategic recruitment of alternative networks, rather than homologous takeover, may account for some findings of right hemisphere language activation in aphasia.
    Neuropsychologia 04/2013; 51(7). DOI:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2013.03.007 · 3.45 Impact Factor
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