New research project on short-term memory treatment for older adults with aphasia

Short-term memory treatment for older adults with aphasia: Investigating its effectiveness for language understanding.

Dr Christos Salis and Professor David Howard have received funding from the Dunhill Medical Trust to undertake  research into short term memory for older adults with aphasia.

Stroke, which is frequent in older adults, often results in aphasia, a language deficit affecting speaking and understanding. Stroke also affects auditory short-term memory (STM), which contributes to language understanding. STM enables us to retain information we hear for a brief period of time. Difficulties in understanding language in people with aphasia often result from impaired STM. The lead applicant devised a novel STM training programme, which improved language understanding in a 73 year old woman with aphasia. The training involved the retention of spoken words. The proposed study will investigate further the effectiveness of this training in 8 people with aphasia and investigate whether it improves everyday communication. STM and language will be evaluated before training. Then, each person will receive STM training via a computer operated by a clinician, focusing on retention of sets of spoken words. Language, STM and everyday communication skills will be evaluated after training.

published on: 27th June 2012