The Aphasiology Archive
University Library System, University of Pittsburgh

Treatment for lexical retrieval in progressive aphasia

Henry, Maya L. and Beeson, Pelagie M. and Rapcsak, Stephen Z.
Treatment for lexical retrieval in progressive aphasia . Aphasiology, 22(7-8), July, 2008, pages 826-838.


Background: Treatment for lexical retrieval impairment has been shown to yield positive outcomes in individuals with aphasia due to focal lesions, but there has been little research regarding the treatment of such impairments in individuals with progressive aphasia.

Aims: The purpose of this study was to examine the therapeutic effects of a semantic treatment for anomia in progressive aphasia relative to the outcome in an individual with stroke-induced aphasia.

Methods & Procedures: Two individuals with progressive aphasia and one with aphasia resulting from stroke participated in the study. Each participant presented with fluent, anomic aphasia; however, one of the patients with progressive aphasia demonstrated characteristics indicating a likely progression towards non-fluency. Each participant received a brief, intensive treatment intended to improve lexical retrieval in the context of generative naming for selected semantic categories. Treatment tasks included guided lexical retrieval prompted by the identification and elaboration of items within semantic subcategories, as well as other semantic tasks. Treatment outcomes were quantified using standard effects sizes as well as nonparametric tests comparing pre- versus post-treatment performance.

Outcomes & Results: One of the individuals with progressive aphasia showed large treatment effects for lexical retrieval of items from targeted semantic categories. The other progressive aphasia patient showed very small effects overall for treated categories. The individual with the focal lesion due to stroke showed medium-sized effects for trained categories as well as significant improvement on a standardised measure of naming.

Conclusions: Findings indicate that intensive, semantically based treatment for lexical retrieval can result in positive outcomes in individuals with progressive as well as stroke-induced aphasia. Examination of individual differences suggests that the status of semantic and episodic memory may provide predictive information regarding responsiveness to treatment.

EPrint Type:Journal (Paginated)
ID Code:1807
Conference:Clinical Aphasiology Conference: Clinical Aphasiology Conference (2007 : 37th : Scottsdale, AZ : May 22-26, 2007)
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
Alternative Locations:
DOI or Unique Handle:10.1080/02687030701820055
Additional Information:Access to the full text is subject to the publisher's access restrictions.