Research into acquired child aphasia can provide useful evidence about the neural mechanisms involved in recovery from aphasia because the functional plasticity of the brain is greater in children than in adults. To investigate the neural correlates underlying functional recovery from acquired child aphasia, we followed a 9-year-old boy with aphasia for 2-16 months after traumatic head injury. The patient's language ability was assessed four times by the Standard Language Test of Aphasia (SLTA). Regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) was also measured four times with 99mTc-ECD and a fully automated quantitative image analysis system. The patient showed substantial improvement of language during this period. Although overall rCBF fluctuated throughout the 1st-4th measurements, there was a significant relative dominance of rCBF in the left cerebral hemisphere compared with the right hemisphere throughout the four measurements, especially in the paracentral and temporo-parietal regions. These findings may suggest that the left cerebral hemisphere rather than the right hemisphere plays a major role in the early recovery from child aphasia.
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