Nav: Home

Analyzing patients shortly after stroke can help link brain regions to speech functions

March 23, 2020

HOUSTON - (March 23, 2020) - New research from Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine shows analyzing the brains of stroke victims just days after the stroke allows researchers to link various speech functions to different parts of the brain, an important breakthrough that may lead to better treatment and recovery.

The study, "Dissociation between frontal and temporal-parietal contributions to connected speech in acute stroke" will appear in an upcoming edition of the journal Brain.

Study co-author Randi Martin, the Elma W. Schneider Professor of Psychology at Rice, worked with a team of researchers led by Tatiana Schnur, associate professor of neurosurgery and neuroscience at the Baylor College of Medicine, to evaluate the spontaneous language production of 65 stroke patients by using storytelling. For the experiment, the patients were read the story of Cinderella and were then asked to retell it.

The researchers used a well-established process to score the patients -- the Quantitative Production Analysis method-- and relied on 13 different measures for evaluation, including words per minute, types of words, and sentence length and formation. They found that by evaluating patients between one and 13 days post-stroke, they were able to identify how different and critical components related to language production linked up with different regions of the brain. The researchers used cutting-edge techniques to relate the brain areas damaged in each individual to the degree of their impairment on these language-production measures. Specifically, they found that retrieving words and putting them into increasingly complex sentences relied on the left temporal and parietal lobes, while producing grammatical aspects of sentences relied on the left frontal lobe.

Martin noted there are only a few other studies that have looked at stroke patients in the acute stage, but those focused on ability to produce single words rather than providing a detailed analysis of language production. The majority of studies, she said, look at stroke patients in the chronic stage of recovery, which is at least six months after the stroke. At that time, considerable reorganization of language function in the brain may have occurred. Also, studying individuals at the acute stage allows for studying those with smaller areas of damage, she said. Those with small lesions are likely to recover and thus not included in studies of chronic stroke, and examining these people allows for a more precise mapping between areas damaged and language abilities.

"Many patients in the chronic stage of stroke have significantly worse brain damage than acute patients and have plateaued with their recovery," she said. "Their brains cannot be evaluated in the same way as acute stroke patients."

Future work will look at these same individuals at different stages during their first year of the recovery process. One important issue will be to determine what areas of brain damage and what language abilities will predict performance a year after stroke.

Martin hopes this work will help better understand how different brain regions recover from stroke. She expects the work will be useful in the design of treatment options for stroke patients, including early interventions that may boost long-term recovery.
-end-
The study's lead author was Junhua Ding from Baylor College of Medicine. Other co-authors were Cris Hamilton from the University of Texas at Austin and corresponding author Tatiana Schnur from Baylor College of Medicine.

The study was funded by an award to Baylor College of Medicine from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders and an award to Rice from the Moody Endowment.

For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Amy McCaig, senior media relations specialist at Rice, at 217-417-2901 or amym@rice.edu.

This news release can be found online at news.rice.edu.

Follow Rice News and Media Relations on Twitter @RiceUNews.

Related materials:

Randi Martin bio: https://psychology.rice.edu/randi-martin

Photo link: https://news-network.rice.edu/news/files/2020/03/22674485_l.jpg

Photo credit: 123rf.com

Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation's top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,962 undergraduates and 3,027 graduate students, Rice's undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is just under 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for lots of race/class interaction and No. 4 for quality of life by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger's Personal Finance.

Jeff Falk
612-964-7236
jfalk@rice.edu

Amy McCaig
217-417-2901
amym@rice.edu

Rice University

Related Stroke Articles:

More stroke awareness, better eating habits may help reduce stroke risk for young adult African-Americans
Young African-Americans are experiencing higher rates of stroke because of health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity, yet their perception of their stroke risk is low.
How to help patients recover after a stroke
The existing approach to brain stimulation for rehabilitation after a stroke does not take into account the diversity of lesions and the individual characteristics of patients' brains.
Kids with headache after stroke might be at risk for another stroke
A new study has found a high incidence of headaches in pediatric stroke survivors and identified a possible association between post-stroke headache and stroke recurrence.
High stroke impact in low- and middle-income countries examined at 11th World Stroke Congress
Less wealthy countries struggle to meet greater need with far fewer resources.
Marijuana use might lead to higher risk of stroke, World Stroke Congress to be told
A five-year study of hospital statistics from the United States shows that the incidence of stroke has risen steadily among marijuana users even though the overall rate of stroke remained constant over the same period.
We need to talk about sexuality after stroke
Stroke survivors and their partners are not adequately supported to deal with changes to their relationships, self-identity, gender roles and intimacy following stroke, according to new research from the University of Sydney.
Standardized stroke protocol can ensure ELVO stroke patients are treated within 60 minutes
A new study shows that developing a standardized stroke protocol of having neurointerventional teams meet suspected emergent large vessel occlusion (ELVO) stroke patients upon their arrival at the hospital achieves a median door-to-recanalization time of less than 60 minutes.
Stroke affects more than just the physical
A new study looks at what problems affect people most after a stroke and it provides a broader picture than what some may usually expect to see.
Stroke journal features women's studies on how gender influences stroke risk, treatment and outcomes
Many aspects of strokes affect women and men differently, and four articles in the American Heart Association's journal Stroke highlight recent research and identify future research needs.
Too few with stroke of the eye are treated to reduce future stroke
Only one-third of 5,600 patients with retinal infarction, or stroke in the eye, underwent basic stroke work-up, and fewer than one in 10 were seen by a neurologist.
More Stroke News and Stroke Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: Reinvention
Change is hard, but it's also an opportunity to discover and reimagine what you thought you knew. From our economy, to music, to even ourselves–this hour TED speakers explore the power of reinvention. Guests include OK Go lead singer Damian Kulash Jr., former college gymnastics coach Valorie Kondos Field, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, and entrepreneur Nick Hanauer.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 6: Strange Times
Covid has disrupted the most basic routines of our days and nights. But in the middle of a conversation about how to fight the virus, we find a place impervious to the stalled plans and frenetic demands of the outside world. It's a very different kind of front line, where urgent work means moving slow, and time is marked out in tiny pre-planned steps. Then, on a walk through the woods, we consider how the tempo of our lives affects our minds and discover how the beats of biology shape our bodies. This episode was produced with help from Molly Webster and Tracie Hunte. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.