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ARC - 2015 Retreat,  July 28 - 30,  Columbus , OH 


Editor's Note: 

The Aphasia Recovery Connection is offering its Aphasia Retreat  in  Columbus, OH, on July 28-30, 2015.     



Bill Connors and I had the privilege of presenting to, meeting and working with people with aphasia at last year's Aphasia Retreat in Columbus, Ohio, offered by the Aphasia Recovery Connection.


The 2015 Retreat has been scheduled - Tuesday, July 28 through Thursday, July 30 - in Columbus, Ohio, and we will again be presenting.  


ARC's Aphasia Retreats are an opportunity for people with aphasia to connect with others, to overcome their individual challenges, and be inspired to re-connect with life.


ARC's Aphasia Retreat registration fee is $500 for the person with aphasia and one family member or friend. This cost includes small group sessions, caregiver sessions, opportunities to socialize with other families living with aphasia, movie night, breakfast, dinner and 4 follow-up group sessions in the weeks following the retreat.


For Information:  






Courtesy of CATS website
Clinical Trial - 


Editor's Note:   

CLICK HERE to read how aphasiatoobox uses research to create aggressive, neuroplastic treatment plans.

The name of  clinical trial  NCT01927302 is 


This trial includes three projects:


Naming Impairments (Anomia):

The labs of Dr. Swathi Kiran (Boston University) and Dr. David Caplan (Harvard University, Massachusetts General Hospital) will be studying language recovery in adults with anomia (naming impairments) following a stroke.  


Spelling/Writing Impairments (Dysgraphia):

At Johns Hopkins University, the lab of Dr. Brenda Rapp will investigate the neurobiology of language recovery in individuals with dysgraphia (spelling/writing impairments) resulting from a stroke. In this study, treatment will focus on improving spelling ability.  


Deficits in Sentence Comprehension & Production:

Dr. Cynthia Thompson's lab at Northwestern University will investigate language recovery in individuals with deficits in sentence production and comprehension.  


Dr. Cynthia Thompson (and colleagues), investigators in the NIDCD-funded Center for the Neurobiology of Language Recovery, discusses this trial:  

In this project, we examine the effect of a language treatment on behavioral improvements (in naming, spelling and sentence processing) as well as changes in the brain in response to treatment. Participants in this study undergo fMRI scans at several time points, once before the start of the intervention, immediately after the intervention and approximately three months after the intervention. We examine how improvement in treatment outcomes relates to changes in the brain in individuals with chronic aphasia. An overarching goal of the project is to identify biomarkers (i.e., predictors) of recovery in order to make the best possible treatment recommendations for people with aphasia.


Clinical Trial - 


Editor's Note:   

CLICK HERE to read how aphasiatoolbox uses research to create aggressive, neuroplastic treatment plans.
The name of  clinical trial NCT02005016 is  Dosage and Predictors of Naming Treatment Response in Aphasia.
This study examines aphasia treatment response among veterans and non-veterans living with aphasia. It seeks to identify cognitive and neural factors which are predictive of positive response to treatment targeting naming impairments in aphasia. It also examines the dose-response relationship for naming treatment. More broadly, it seeks to determine who aphasia therapy works best for, and how much aphasia therapy is sufficient to achieve positive treatment response.


What Primary Investigator Dr. Dickey  says about this trial:  


This clinical trial is for stroke survivors living with aphasia. It focuses on treatment that improves people's ability to find words for common objects and people.  The goal of the trial is to find out who benefits most from this treatment, and how much treatment is needed to help people improve their communication.
This clinical trial can help people living with aphasia in two ways. First, it provides intensive evidence-based treatment to people who participate. Second, the results can help us improve treatment options for people with aphasia. 
We are enrolling participants in this clinical trial now! If you are interested in finding out more, or seeing whether you might be eligible to participate, please contact the investigators: Dr. Michael Dickey ( and Dr. Patrick Doyle (


Clinical Trial -


Editor's Note:

CLICK HERE to read how aphasiatoolbox uses research to create aggressive, neuroplastic treatment plans.

The name of  Clinical Trial  NCT00903266 is Melodic-Intonation-Therapy and Speech-Repetition-Therapy for Patients With Non-fluent Aphasia.


Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center / Harvard Medical School is running this clinical trial in order to evaluate two different treatments for non-fluent aphasia: Melodic Intonation Therapy (MIT) and Speech Repetition Therapy (SRT). MIT uses a simple form of singing, while SRT uses intensive repetition of a set of words and phrases.


The purpose of this trial  is to see which form of treatment is  better.  The researchers overall aim is to test the hypothesis that MIT's rehabilitative effect is achieved by using its melodic and rhythmic elements to engage and/or unmask the predominantly right-hemispheric brain regions capable of supporting expressive language function.


What Primary Investigator Dr. Schlaug says about this trial:


Melodic Intonation Therapy (MIT) appears ideally suited for facilitating improvement in speech output beyond the limitations of either natural recovery or standard/traditional speech interventions. The MIT method was inspired by the common clinical observation that some severely aphasic patients are actually better at singing the lyrics of songs than they are at speaking the same words. In keeping with this observation, MIT uses a simple type of singing, along with tapping of the patient's left hand to help produce words and phrases.

In pilot experiments, we have shown that patients with chronic, non-fluent aphasia and relatively unimpaired comprehension improved significantly on speech output measures after an intense period of MIT. Similarly, our functional imaging studies using an overt speech production task showed significant group changes in a right-hemisphere network supported by structural changes in the connections between the hearing and the speech-motor regions on the right hemisphere. These pilot results led to an interesting question: Are the MIT-facilitated improvements seen in patients with moderately-to-severely nonfluent aphasia due to MIT's unique elements that are not found in other traditional (i.e., non-intonation-based) speech interventions or could other non-intonation-based interventions lead to similar behavioral and imaging changes if they are applied in an equally intense and long-term duration as is typically done for MIT?

In our ongoing clinical trial (Clinical Trial NCT00903266 - Melodic-Intonation-Therapy and Speech-Repetition-Therapy for Patients With Non-fluent Aphasia), we are comparing the long-term behavioral and imaging outcomes after a period of intensive MIT with outcomes of an intensive period of a speech-therapy based control therapy (termed Speech Repetition Therapy - SRT), and a similar period with no treatment. Both treatments are administered with the same intensity, close patient-therapist interaction, repetition of commonly used words/phrases, and use of picture stimuli (visual cues), but the SRT technique does not include MIT's two unique components: melodic intonation of words/phrases and rhythmic tapping of syllables with the patient's left hand. Furthermore, this study is using multiple imaging assessments over time to identify brain regions that are changed in response to the treatment and that are driving the therapy's effect. These brain regions can then be specifically target to enhance the therapy's effect in subsequent studies.


For information on how to join this and other trials, please email Dr. Schlaug at .  


We want to  personally thank Dr. Schlaug and his staff for their valuable work.    


Click here to see how the staff of aphasiatoolbox takes tools like this to create a truly robust program for a client to maximize aphasia recovery.  



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If you have questions about how  can help you and your aphasia and/or related disorders, please contact us or call  us at 724-494-2534.
April 30, 2015
April 2015 - Research in Aphasia Treatment and Recovery
Greetings from Aphasiatoolbox!
This is Sharon Rennhack, the chief editor for the aphasiatoolbox newsletter.

This month I hand the  bulk of the writing  duties to Master clinician Bill Connors who  reports on research in aphasia treatment and recovery. 

- We  profile three current clinical trials for aphasia;

- We discuss  what clinical  trials are;

- Bill discusses in his feature article and in his video how research helps people with aphasia;

- We discuss how Aphasatoolbox clients utilize individual research techniques to create their complex, rigorous, robust recovery program;

- Our junior editor LC  discusses what she wants to do in the next stage of her life.
W e welcome your   calls and ideas.  Contact us at

Sharon Rennhack
Chief Editor 
Photo of the Month 


Editor's Note:

Research tells us important clinical information and data, but some things go beyond science and formal testing. Here, Reba is telling us about the make-up of each person's spirit. 
FEATURE:  How does research help in Aphasia Treatment and Recovery?


From Bill Connors:

I sincerely thank the researchers for all the work they do and information they provide and academic professors for the wonderful work they do in preparing our graduates.
We SLPs in the trenches need to know and be thoroughly familiar with what the researchers have done and then go way beyond that taking it and merging it with our skill and knowledge in terms of clinical applications, outside evidence, and so many other elements to be the best SLP's we can be be. EBP is driven by the client's goals, aspirations and values and our clinical know- how.

In the numerous workshops I have done and all of my communication with SLP's, I am endeavoring to undo the unfortunate misinterpretation of evidence-based practice that has come to pass. We need to put the client in the driver's seat in terms of the rehabilitation process while taking advantage of all of our expertise, knowledge and clinical intuition to maximize recovery and independence.

Be sure to read how aphasiatoolbox has used  research to truly exploit neuroplasticity
by clicking on our description at the beginning of each program on the left column.

VIDEO:  Bill Connors discusses the use of research in Aphasia Treatment and Recovery


Bill Connors on Research in Aphasia Treatment and Recovery
Bill Connors on Research in Aphasia Treatment and Recovery



Editor's Note:

LC is a client of aphasiatoolbox and is also the junior editor of the newsletter; here, she describes her path to recovery.  LC  created this article with 50% assistance.
Six years ago I had an accident resulting in a severe aphasia. For four years, I worked hard in treatment with many therapists, but still could not talk. Now, I am determined to finish college and get on with my life.

In July 2013, I began working with the staff at AphasiaToolbox. We started with a modest program working on vowels and consonants both spelled and spoken. Then, we added work on apraxia using the Oral Motor Coordination and the Viking programs focusing on my motor planning and memory.  


I reconnected my use of pronouns and conjugation, creating canonical sentences; for example, : I eat (subject - verb). I eat food (subject - verb - object). I threaded work on spelling-typing throughout all my practice. In the close-to two years that I have worked with Bill and his staff, I have moved from basic sounds to now being able to create my own sentences, narrative and conversation.  

Overcoming my aphasia requires that I work in an online, intensive program, reconnecting essential building blocks of language, starting with basic letter sounds and evolving into propositional speech and writing.  Right now I spend most of the day working on speaking, compound and complex sentences, writing paragraphs, and writing articles for the newsletter.


I am exploiting the rich, complex aphasiatoolbox program to get back and finish my BA.


Where Aphasiatoolbox Clients want to  be in recovery . . .  


Editor's Note:  

Aphasiatoolbox clients work aggressively and intensively in treatment and practice. Accommodating and living with aphasia  is not what they want.

This  bell curve specifies what our clients  want in recovery.

bell curve
Where aphasiatoolbox clients want to be in recovery

Master Clinician Bill  Connors has created a robust neuroplastic program that  enables  people  with aphasia  to accelerate their  recovery,  turning them into a person recovering from aphasia. 

Where are you on this curve?

What do you want to accomplish?

Contact us at  or call us at 724-494-2534.

Sidebar:  What are Clinical Trials? 
 Editor's Note: 

Clinical trials are research studies conducted to help improve overall patient health and care. Each trial may involve running supervised tests to determine the effectiveness and safety of new drugs, procedures and/or devices.

Click here to read the rest  of our article. 


Aphasia News and Events 
South Side Aphasia, Chicago, May 13  
South Side Aphasia will  have an informal coffee chat on May 13th at Bow Truss Coffee Roasters at 1641 W. 18th Street Chicago, IL 60608 from 3:00-4:00 pm. All are welcome.

South Side Aphasia  is a new member-driven organization built to support and connect people with aphasia, their families, and professionals on the south side of Chicago. Marissa Artman, Ellen Fitzmorris and Dan Goffman  are the board members who created South Side Aphasia. 


For more information:

please contact the  group via email at;
on Twitter at @SSA_Aphasia;
on Facebook at  
The Aphasia Center of Innovative Treatment, Inc | | |
800 Vinial Street, B408
Pittsburgh, PA 15212