Every year 80,000 to 90,000 Americans lose the ability to understand or express speech, due to stroke. Known as aphasia, this condition makes effective communication all but impossible for some stroke survivors. They retain their cognition, but are often misunderstood as being mentally incapacitated.Currently 1 million Americans suffer from aphasia.
Given the aging of the
US population, and improved stroke survival rates, the aphasic population of
the US in the year 2020 is projected to double to two million. Traditionally
aphasic patients have been entitled to a few months of speech rehabilitation
during a brief period of so-called "spontaneous recovery" when the
brain physiologically heals itself from injury. But research, using computers
to do extended therapy, now indicates that these patients can continue to improve
even many years after their stroke or brain trauma.
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