Study: Therapy improves speech in stroke sufferers

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The speaking ability of those who have suffered a stroke years earlier can improve with intensive therapy, according to a new study.

Doctors at the Universitat Konstanz, in Konstanz, Germany, conducted the study. Participants were given 30 hours of speech training -- three hours a day over 10 days. Before the training, the patients had trouble finding the right words or understanding what other people said. All showed improvement in their speech soon after the training. Six months later, the stroke victims maintained their improved speech function.
The study was conducted on 27 stroke survivors averaging age 51. Results run counter to conventional thinking that post-stroke speech cannot improve. As many as 60% of stroke victims still have problems speaking six months after suffering a stroke. Nearly 700,000 people a year suffer a new or recurrent stroke in the U.S.