Default-mode network functional connectivity in aphasia: Therapy-induced neuroplasticity.
Previous research on participants with aphasia has mainly been based on standard functional neuroimaging analysis. Recent studies have shown that functional connectivity analysis can detect compensatory activity, not revealed by standard analysis. Little is known, however, about the default-mode network in aphasia. In the current study, we studied changes in the default-mode network in subjects with aphasia who underwent semantic feature analysis therapy. We studied nine participants with chronic aphasia and compared them to 10 control participants. For the first time, we identified the default-mode network using spatial independent component analysis, in participants with aphasia. Intensive therapy improved integration in the posterior areas of the default-mode network concurrent with language improvement. Correlations between integration and improvement did not reach significance, but the trend suggests that pre-therapy integration of the default-mode network may predict therapy outcomes. Functional connectivity allows a better understanding of the impact of semantic feature analysis in aphasia. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.