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.
© 2017 American Neurological Association.