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Keynote: Dorothee Saur

Recovery from Aphasia – Insights into Plasticity of the Language Network

Speaker: Dorothee Saur, University of Leipzig

Chair: Michal Ben-Shachar, Bar Ilan University

Friday, August 17, 8:30 – 9:30 am, Room 2000C

The organization of language in left-lateralized large-scale networks of closely connected and interacting brain areas in the temporal, frontal and parietal lobe allows the brain to flexibly adapt when a focal lesion hits the network. On one hand, lesions to this network may be induced by non-invasive brain stimulation such as transcranial magnetic stimulation. Although the analogy to stroke lesions is not perfect, this approach allows us to study principles of network reorganisation in a controlled lesion model in healthy subjects. On the other hand, using neuroimaging in order to map the recovery process in stroke patients with aphasia represents a unique possibility to identify mechanisms of brain repair in vivo. Synthesizing these findings in a comprehensive model of language reorganisation will, hopefully, open up new perspectives in the neurorehabilitation of stroke patients with aphasia.

About Dorothee Saur

Professor Saur serves as the Vice Chair of Neurology at the Department of Neurology, University of Leipzig. Her specialty areas are vascular and cognitive neurology. Early in her career, she started studying aphasic stroke patients with functional MRI from the acute to the chronic stage after stroke. This allowed her to identify the dynamics of language reorganisation promoting recovery from aphasia. Her research combines a broad spectrum of modern neuroimaging and non-invasive brain stimulation techniques aiming to reveal key mechanisms of brain reorganization at a systems level. As a neurologist, her dedication is to answer questions derived from her daily work with patients.