Sunday, March 14, 2010

Former major league pitcher appreciates family after tumor

The tumor and seizure also affected Ricky’s memory and speech, resulting in a condition known as aphasia, where he knows what he wants to say but just can’t get the words to come out. And he wasn’t allowed to drive for six months, which really made things rough with Tracey teaching prekindergarten three mornings a week and going to class to earn her master’s degree two nights a week. Plus, there were the speech therapy classes three days a week and three-day trips to Houston every other month.  Next...

A smile unbroken

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Douglas Warner Jr., physics professor

Douglas Warner Jr., a retired physics professor and longtime Roland Park resident, died Monday of progressive aphasia at the Broadmead retirement community in Cockeysville. He was 84.

Dr. Warner, whose parents owned and operated the O.F.H. Warner Paper Co., was born in Baltimore and raised on Lombardy Place in Roland Park. He was also a grandson of Dr. Howard A. Kelly, one of the four founding physicians of Johns Hopkins Hospital.

He attended Gilman School and graduated in 1943 from the Pomfret School in Pomfret, Conn. Next..

Music Helps Stroke Victims Communicate, Study Finds

SAN DIEGO—For the many stroke victims devastated by the loss of their ability to speak, music may hold the key to unlocking language, according to a new study.

The research, presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science here Saturday, produced often dramatic results in 12 patients whose speech was impaired after a stroke to the left hemisphere of the brain. Such patients struggle to communicate or cannot speak at all.

In the study, patients who were taught to essentially sing their words improved their verbal abilities and maintained the improvement for up to a month after the end of the therapy, according to Gottfried Schlaug, a neurology professor at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School.

The patients may continue to speak in a more "sing-songy" way than a person with normal speech, but they are able to say functional phrases, such as that they are thirsty or where they live, according to Dr. Schlaug, whose work was met with enthusiastic applause after his presentation.

The treatment, called melodic intonation therapy, was devised in the 1970s after clinicians observed that some patients who suffered strokes were no longer able to talk but could still sing. However, the therapy never really caught and its efficacy hasn't been fully assessed, Dr. Schlaug said.

In melodic intonation therapy, therapists teach patients how to sing words and phrases consistent with the underlying melody of speech, while tapping a rhythm with their left hands. After frequent repetition—1.5 hour-long daily sessions with a therapist for 15 weeks—the patients gradually learn to turn the sung words into speech.

The theory behind the treatment is that there are separate brain networks associated with vocal output, with one more engaged with speech and the other with music. With certain types of stroke, fibers on the left side of the brain that are important to the interaction of the auditory and the motor system are disrupted. But if the brain could recruit the fibers from the right side, which are more engaged with music, then the system could adapt. Dr. Schlaug believes that the tapping of the left hand works to engage the auditory and motor systems. Next...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

How to get Aphasia Treatment?

<strong>How to get Aphasia Treatment?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

(Great Video) Music can repair brain after a stroke

Two years ago, Rosemary Page could barely speak after a stroke. Today, she has sentences, and that began as songs.
Music therapist Jenny Rook says Rosemary's stroke caused what's called expressive aphasia.
"The capacity to produce music and musical phrases is not damaged so people with aphasia are usually able to sing songs when they can't talk," said music therapist Jenny Rook.Next...

John Medina on KING5 (NBC) News

The hope of music's healing powers

Yes, yes, it hath charms to soothe a savage breast (or beast, if you prefer to repeat a common mistake). But researchers are finding that music may be an effective balm for many other afflictions: the isolation of conditions such as autism and Alzheimer's disease, the disability that results from stroke, the physical stress of entering the world too early.

The hope of music's curative powers has spawned a community in the United States of some 5,000 registered music therapists, who have done post-college study in psychology and music to gain certification. Active primarily in hospitals, nursing homes, special needs classrooms and rehabilitation units, music therapists aim to soothe, stimulate and support the development or recovery of abilities lost to illness or injury.

Singing therapy helps stroke patients regain language

San Diego, California (CNN) -- When mothers speak to children, it's often in a singsong tone. That's no coincidence, scientists say, given that music and language are so intricately linked in the brain.
Scientists are using this fundamental connection between song and speech to treat patients who have lost their ability to communicate. There's evidence that music can be used to help people with severe brain impairments learn how to speak again, scientists said over the weekend at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Doctors at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts, are treating stroke patients who have little or no spontaneous speech by associating melodies with words and phrases.
"Music, and music-making, is really a very special form of a tool or an intervention that can be used to treat neurological disorders, said Dr. Gottfried Schlaug, associate professor of neurology at Beth Israel and Harvard University. "There's rarely any other activity that could really activate or engage this many regions of the brain that is experienced as being a joyous activity."
There are between 750,000 and 800,000 strokes per year in the United States, and about 200,000 of them result in a kind of language disorder called aphasia, he said. About one-third of those patients have aphasia so severe that they become non-fluent, meaning about 60,000 to 70,000 patients per year could benefit from the music therapy.