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Slide Slam A13

Phonological-component Analysis and aphasia recovery: a bilingual perspective

Slide Slam Session A, Tuesday, October 5, 2021, 12:30 - 3:00 pm PDT Log In to set Timezone

Michèle Masson-Trottier1,2, Tanya Dash1, Ana Inés Ansaldo; 1CRIUGM - Université de Montréal, 2Faculté de Médecine, Université de Montréal

Over the years, evidence shows bilingualism entails an advantage in cognitive performance, more so in ageing individuals(Ansaldo 2015, Berroir 2017, Dash 2019). Furthermore, there is evidence that the bilingual advantage on cognitive performance extends to persons with aphasia (PWA; Paplikar 2018, Ardila 2020), while better recovery in bilinguals PWA as compared to monolinguals has been also documented (Lahiri 2020). Few studies have examined the role of bilingualism on therapy-induced changes in naming performance. This work examines the effect of French-Phonological Component Analysis (Fr-PCA) in monolingual and bilingual PWA, while exploring pre- and post-therapy resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) in each group, between the executive control network and the rest of the brain. Four monolingual (French) and four bilingual (French and English) PWA were included in this study. All participants received Fr-PCA (L1) anomia therapy for a total of 15 hours over 5 weeks on a personalized set of 20 items. Fr-PCA outcomes and rsFC measures were collected before and after therapy. Data was preprocessed and analyzed with the CONN toolbox (18.b;Whitfield-Gabrieli 2012) and SPM12. Three target seed regions supporting executive control (EC) were selected (Fan 2005), namely the right middle frontal gyrus (BA6) the inferior frontal gyrus (BA45), and the anterior cingulate cortex (BA32). We calculated rsFC between them and the 32 networks in the CONN toolbox (Whitfield-Gabrieli 2012). There was a significant improvement on treated words, and a generalization of Fr-PCA effects to untreated words. Improvement was also reflected by measures of connected speech (Richardson 2016) and executive control (Eriksen 1974) across groups. Importantly, as compared to monolinguals, bilingual PWA showed a larger effect size of therapy effects on naming both with treated and untreated items, and they were also more accurate than monolinguals on the Flanker task (Eriksen 1974). Regarding the rsFC pre-therapy, a positive correlation between the EC network and task-positive network of salience for monolingual PWA and frontoparietal (FPN) for bilingual PWA was observed. Post therapy, the bilingual PWA showed a positive correlation between the EC network and the default-mode network (DMN), and the EC network and the dorsal attention network (DAN). The results suggest a bilingual advantage in the recovery from aphasia following Fr-PCA as reflected by cooccurring behavioural improvements and changes in rsFC in the bilingual PWA. The pre-therapy rsFC results are discussed in terms of distinct connectivity pattern for the monolingual and bilingual PWA, where both the groups demonstrate positive connectivity between EC and task positive networks (Elton 2014). For the post-therapy rsFC, EC network in bilingual PWA correlated positively with the DAN as well as the DMN (Elton 2015) whereas in monolingual PWA, the EC network failed to correlate significantly with any other network. This study provides evidence for the role of bilingualism in aphasia recovery, while highlighting the impact of EC and attentional networks. These novel findings are limited to a small set of bilingual profiles and cannot be generalized on the continuum of bilingualism.

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