Structural plasticity of the ventral stream and aphasia recovery

Ann Neurol. 2017 Jul;82(1):147-151. doi: 10.1002/ana.24983.


Restrengthening of the residual language network is likely to be crucial for speech recovery in poststroke aphasia. Eight participants with chronic aphasia received intensive speech therapy for 3 weeks, with standardized naming tests and brain magnetic resonance imaging before and after therapy. Kurtosis-based diffusion tensor tractography was used to measure mean kurtosis (MK) along a segment of the inferior longitudinal fasciculus (ILF). Therapy-related reduction in the number of semantic but not phonemic errors was associated with strengthening (renormalization) of ILF MK (r = -0.90, p < 0.05 corrected), suggesting that speech recovery is related to structural plasticity of language-specific components of the residual language network. Ann Neurol 2017;82:147-151.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aphasia / pathology*
  • Aphasia / therapy*
  • Diffusion Tensor Imaging
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Neural Pathways / pathology
  • Neuroimaging
  • Neuronal Plasticity
  • Occipital Lobe / pathology*
  • Speech Therapy
  • Temporal Lobe / pathology*