Long-Term Recovery From Chronic Global Aphasia: A Case Report
In 2000, a 57-year-old man had a cerebral hemorrhage that resulted in spastic hemiparesis and global aphasia with agraphia and alexia. He received continuous speech therapy, with no significant improvement in speech performance. Three years after the event, a directed resource-orientated and music-supported training (SIPARI1) was initiated that had been devel- oped especially to support speech rehabilitation for chronic nonfluent aphasia patients. The effects of this treatment on language capabilities were tested by inde- pendent and experienced investigators with the Aach- ener Aphasie Test (standardized procedure). Tests were carried out 20 months after onset of treatment in 2004, and in two follow-up studies in 2005 and 2008. After the first treatment period of 20 months, the patient showed clinically significant improvements in spontaneous speech as well as in the token test (a measure to evaluate severity of aphasia), repetition, and naming. The first follow-up study in 2005 as well as the last assessment in 2008 revealed further clinically significant improvements in speech perfor- mance. At the time of this writing, the patient is able to talk in everyday situations and to participate verbally in social life. The fact that he regained confidence and enjoyment in using speech has improved his own quality of life and that of his family and friends considerably.