Communicating with the non-dominant hemisphere Implications for neurological rehabilitation
Oliveira, Fabricio Ferreira de [UNIFESP]
Marin, Sheilla de Medeiros Correia [UNIFESP]
Bertolucci, Paulo Henrique Ferreira [UNIFESP]
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Aphasic syndromes usually result from injuries to the dominant hemisphere of the brain. Despite the fact that localization of language functions shows little interindividual variability, several brain areas are simultaneously activated when language tasks are undertaken. Mechanisms of language recovery after brain injury to the dominant hemisphere seem to be relatively stereotyped, including activations of perilesional areas in the acute phase and of homologues of language areas in the non-dominant hemisphere in the subacute phase, later returning to dominant hemisphere activation in the chronic phase. Plasticity mechanisms reopen the critical period of language development, more specifically in what leads to disinhibition of the non-dominant hemisphere when brain lesions affect the dominant hemisphere. the non-dominant hemisphere plays an important role during recovery from aphasia, but currently available rehabilitation therapies have shown limited results for efficient language improvement. Large-scale randomized controlled trials that evaluate well-defined interventions in patients with aphasia are needed for stimulation of neuroplasticity mechanisms that enhance the role of the non-dominant hemisphere for language recovery. Ineffective treatment approaches should be replaced by more promising ones and the latter should be evaluated for proper application. the data generated. by such studies could substantiate evidence-based rehabilitation strategies for patients with aphasia.
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