Overcoming stroke-caused speech problems
Adding to his $16 million in National Institute of Health grants over the past 15 years, UCI cognitive sciences professor Gregory Hickok recently received another NIH grant totaling just over $500,000. The grant will support his research on how neural abnormalities affect speech and language in an area of the brain tied to stroke-induced aphasia. He also received renewal funding this year from NIH to continue his five-year, multisite fMRI study to understand subdivisions of the planum temporale region of the brain. A potential application of Hickok’s research is that neural prostheses – brain implants – could one day be used to compensate for lost function in some aphasia cases. Considering the advancements in aphasia-based research over the past decade and a half, and considering that neural prostheses are becoming a reality for some neurological disorders, the realistic possibility is welcomed news among the millions who live with stroke-induced language deficits.
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