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fMRI of Language Recovery Following Stroke in Adults

This study has been completed.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Jerzy P Szaflarski, University of Alabama at Birmingham Identifier:
First received: February 12, 2009
Last updated: April 11, 2017
Last verified: April 2017
The purpose of this study is to test the effectiveness of constraint-induced aphasia therapy.

Condition Intervention
Aphasia Stroke Behavioral: CIAT

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Quadruple (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: fMRI of Language Recovery Following Stroke in Adults

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Jerzy P Szaflarski, University of Alabama at Birmingham:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Primary outcome measure is aphasia improvement. [ Time Frame: 1 week and 3 months after intervention ]
    The Token Test was used only for primary screening and study qualification. All participants received NAT which included: (1) the Boston Naming Test (BNT) (Kaplan, Goodglass et al. 1983), (2) the Controlled Oral Word Association Test (Lezak 1995), (3) the Semantic Fluency Test (SFT) (Kozora and Cullum 1995, Lezak 1995), (4) the Complex Ideation subtest from the Boston Diagnostic Aphasia Examination (BDAE) (Goodglass and Kaplan 1972), (5) the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test III (PPVT III) (Dunn and Dunn 1997), and (6) the Mini-Communicative Activities Log (Mini-CAL) which is a subjective measure of communicative abilities (Pulvermuller, Neininger et al. 2001, Szaflarski, Ball et al. 2008).

Enrollment: 24
Study Start Date: September 2008
Study Completion Date: August 2015
Primary Completion Date: August 2015 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Aphasia - CIAT
Patients with aphasia >1 year after left MCA stroke who will be randomized to receive CIAT
Behavioral: CIAT
Patients are to receive constraint-induced aphasia therapy for 2 weeks at 4 hours per day. Detailed description of this intervention is in Szaflarski et al., 2015 Medical Science Monitor.
Other Name: CILT
No Intervention: Aphasia - observation
Patients with aphasia >1 year after left MCA stroke who will be randomized to no intervention (observation)

Detailed Description:

Aphasia (difficulty speaking) is one of the most dreaded consequences of stroke. It is associated with high mortality and severe motor, social, and cognitive disability. During the past decade, therapies administered by stroke teams have made great strides in limiting the damage due to a stroke. Unfortunately, progress in aphasia rehabilitation has not experienced the same rapid advancement. Evidence suggests that the brain may have untapped potential for recovery of aphasia after stroke.

Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), researchers now are able to examine the areas of the brain that are responsible for language recovery after stroke. Such data may explain how the brain recovers after stroke, and may lead to new therapies to help individuals who have suffered an aphasia-causing stroke.

In this study, researchers will examine the changes the brain undergoes while recovering from an aphasia-causing stroke and the mechanisms that underlie such recovery, and test the effectiveness of a new and promising method of aphasia rehabilitation called constraint-induced aphasia therapy (CIAT). The scientists will perform fMRI studies of brain activation in people who have suffered an aphasia-causing stroke in order to better understand the underlying mechanisms of recovery from aphasia. Specifically the researchers will compare language activation between adults with stroke and children with perinatal and postnatal stroke (from previous studies); map changes in language activation, characterize the patterns of language reorganization that occur following stroke; and use the fMRI measures to assess recovery using CIAT.

The study will last one year, during this time participants will have language testing to evaluate the degree of aphasia and its recovery; and five fMRI scans scheduled at 2 weeks, 6 weeks, 12 weeks, 26 weeks, and 56 weeks. Participants with remaining moderate aphasia will be offered a chance to participate in an extension treatment study that will last up to 3 months (STUDY).

A better understanding of brain changes during recovery from aphasia may help develop new methods to improve recovery.


Ages Eligible for Study:   19 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • MCA stroke as indicated by the presence of aphasia and MRI lesion in the LMCA distribution
  • Moderate aphasia (Token Test score between 40th and 90th percentile)
  • Written informed consent by the patient or the next of kin

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Underlying degenerative or metabolic disorder or supervening medical illness
  • Severe depression or other psychiatric disorder
  • Pregnancy
  • Any contraindication to an MRI procedure (i.e., metal implants, claustrophobia)
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00843427

United States, Alabama
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Birmingham, Alabama, United States, 35294
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Alabama at Birmingham
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Principal Investigator: Jerzy P. Szaflarski, MD, PhD University of Alabama at Birmingham, Department of Neurology
  More Information


Responsible Party: Jerzy P Szaflarski, Professor, University of Alabama at Birmingham Identifier: NCT00843427     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: R01NS048281 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
1R01NS048281-01A2 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
Study First Received: February 12, 2009
Last Updated: April 11, 2017

Keywords provided by Jerzy P Szaflarski, University of Alabama at Birmingham:
functional magnetic resonance imaging
language recovery after stroke
constraint-induced aphasia therapy

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Cerebrovascular Disorders
Brain Diseases
Central Nervous System Diseases
Nervous System Diseases
Vascular Diseases
Cardiovascular Diseases
Speech Disorders
Language Disorders
Communication Disorders
Neurobehavioral Manifestations
Neurologic Manifestations
Signs and Symptoms processed this record on September 25, 2017