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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2012 Jan;93(1 Suppl):S35-45. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2011.06.040.

First decade of research on constrained-induced treatment approaches for aphasia rehabilitation.

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Department of Neurology, Center for Stroke Research Berlin & Cluster of Excellence NeuroCure, Charite, Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.


Approaches for treating poststroke language impairments (aphasia) based on constraint-induced (CI) principles were first introduced in 2001. CI principles as previously applied to upper extremity and locomotor retraining in stroke survivors were derived from basic neuroscience. They comprise forced-use of the affected modality, a gradual rebuilding of targeted functions using a highly intensive treatment protocol, administered in a behaviorally relevant context. CI-based approaches have stimulated considerable neurorehabilitation research interest in the past decade. The original CI aphasia treatment protocol was tailored to improve functional communication in chronic aphasia (ie, 6-12mo after stroke) and more recently, it has been adapted to treat language impairments in acute stroke survivors as well. Moreover, CI therapy applied to aphasia has been used as a model to assess language network plasticity in response to treatment using functional imaging techniques. In the following article, we review the first 10 years of behavioral and functional brain imaging research on CI-based approaches for aphasia rehabilitation.

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