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Recovery of Language Disorders

Homologous Contralateral or Connected Ipsilateral Compensation?
  • Andrew Kertesz

Abstract

The study of recovery from language deficit is more than just a practical, prognostic exercise for the clinician or a base line for therapy. It also provides an important theoretical framework for cerebral reorganization. Human brain damage caused by stroke or trauma produces deficits that recover in two stages. The first stage is related to recovery from the acute effect of membrane failure, ionic imbalance, hemorrhage, cellular reaction, and possibly to the reestablishment of the circulation in the ischemic penumbra (Astrup et al., 1981). Our interest has focused on second-stage recovery that takes place months, even years, after injury, and its mechanisms remain largely a mystery. A significant amount of physiological and functional recovery is probably related to intact structures compensating for the functional loss. Axonal regrowth and collateral sprouting are important mechanisms in the peripheral and, in certain instances, in the central nervous system. However, in large lesions in man causing focal cognitive or language loss, compensation is likely affected by (1) ipsilateral physiologically and anatomically connected structures, (2) contralateral homologous cortical areas, or (3) subcortical systems hierarchically and physiologically related to the damaged structures or function in question.

Keywords

Left Hemisphere Dichotic Listening Language Disorder Initial Severity Speech Output 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew Kertesz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Research Institute, St. Joseph’s HospitalUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada

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