This study examined 12 aphasia patients at approximately I year poststroke (Time 1) and again at 5-12 years poststroke (Time 2) with language testing and CT scan. Significant increases in naming scores, and phrase length in nonfluent speech were observed after 5 years poststroke. Significant expansion in visible lesion borders (lesion size) was observed after 5 years poststroke; an increase in lesion size of >1% was present in 9/12 cases (75%). Not one case had a second stroke. Thus, it appears that even though lesion expansion may occur after 5 years poststroke, as long as this expansion is unilateral and gradual, it has no adverse effect on language, and in fact, continued recovery in naming and nonfluent speech may also occur. Long-term recovery patterns in aphasia which may be associated with brain reorganization deserve further study, especially with functional brain imaging techniques.
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