How many spoken languages exist?
There are roughly 6,500 languages spoken across the world
Language and speech are an essential part of communication. However people with aphasia as a result of damage to the brain have difficulty understanding and using language or speech.
Aphasia is usually caused by damage to the left side of the brain (for example, as a result of a stroke, a traumatic brain injury or a brain tumour). Symptoms and severity differ from person to person but speech problems are perhaps the most common. It can also affect reading and writing skills.
High-Dose Aphasia Programme
Around 53,000 adults in the UK suffer post-stroke aphasia requiring speech and language therapy each year. At present, these individuals would usually receive four hours of therapy while in hospital followed up by eight hours once they have been discharged. However 12 hours is inadequate to make a meaningful difference.
The evidence base for increased, and in some cases high-intensity, therapy is clear. Patients can continue to improve their language and communicative abilities with the right dose of tailored therapy – no matter how long ago the brain injury occurred.
Impact it will make:
Professors Jennifer Crinion and Alexander Leff, lead this new programme which is running in Queen Square. The high-intensity patients receive 7.5 hours of therapy per day (a mixture of one-to-one therapy, group therapy, eTherapy, psychological support and vocational rehabilitation), five days a week for three weeks (90 hours in total). For those patients unable to tolerate high-intensity therapy, the emphasis is on group work, with individuals attending the neurorehabilitation unit once a week alongside outpatient support using eTherapies.
One year on from his stroke, Tom Bulatovic was one of the first patients to attend the three-week aphasia programme at The National Hospital. He is following this up with independent goal-directed work at home which the team will monitor at three months, six months and one year later. Psychological support was also provided as well as involving family and friends in some sessions.
“In spite my stroke, I feel very lucky. Not only have my family have helped me so much, I was one of the first people to attend The National Brain Appeal’s Aphasia Programme. The three weeks were intense, but incredibly helpful. I threw myself into it to the point that I was exhausted at the end of each day. My speech and language therapist even came into my workplace to see what my normal working day was like and what strategies she could devise to help me. It was brilliant. I’m so grateful to the charity for funding this to help people with aphasia.”
The National Brain Appeal has committed to raise £600,000 over two years to support this new, high-dose service for aphasia at The National Hospital.
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