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March 07, 2019
Early Speech Therapy Intervention in Stroke Patients Yields Better Results

Speech Therapy for Stroke Patients

Speech and language therapy can aid if you have communication problems or swallowing difficulties after a stroke. Therapists work in hospitals to assess your difficulties and offer rehabilitation.


Is Early Speech Therapy Benefit a Stroke Patient?

Speech and language therapy has normally been considered as most effective in the six months following a stroke. While many stroke survivors will make large gains in the area of speech within the weeks and months right away following a stroke, with the assistance of a speech-language pathologist, improvements can be made well beyond the initial time frame.


Speech and language therapy should start as soon as possible post stroke, once the person is well enough. Anyone with aphasia lasting more than two weeks should be considered for intensive intervention.


Difficulty swallowing and communication impairment are common consequences of a stroke. Stroke survivors with either or both of these impairments are likely to have poor long-term outcomes than those who do not have them. Speech-language pathologists play an important role in the screening, formal assessment, management, and rehabilitation of stroke survivors who present with dysphagia or communication impairment. Early diagnosis and referral are critical, as is intensive treatment as soon as the patient can participate.


Stroke survivors often suffer a crumble in their communication abilities, known as aphasia, and receive very limited therapy for this condition.

Aphasia affects the ability of a person to speak, understand and read and write, which can be extremely frustrating.

The usual treatment procedure for aphasia in the early recovery phase involves an average treatment of only 11 minutes per week.

Rehabilitation for this condition is ad-hoc and usually takes place later in the recovery process, losing valuable time in the neuro-recovery process.


Speech Pathologist & Stroke Team

A speech pathologist is an important member of the interdisciplinary stroke care team. Speech pathologist works with patients post stroke to improve their communication abilities and swallow.


Do you think Early Aphasia Treatment Post Stroke is Useful?

Early post-stroke aphasia treatment is useful, has durable effects, and may lead to early enhanced recruitment of brain areas, particularly the left inferior frontal gyrus, which persists in the chronic phase.


Treating early post-stroke aphasia is useful, has lasting effects and can lead to early enhanced brain areas recruitment, especially the left lower frontal gyrus, which persists in the chronic phase. 

For patients undergoing active rehabilitation, as much therapy for dysphagia or communication difficulties should be offered as they can tolerate.


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