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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 24, Issue 4, Pages 317-325

Therapy Efficacy in Chronic Aphasia

Anna Basso1 and Margherita Macis2

1Department of Neurological Sciences, Milan University, Milan, Italy
2Faculty of Psychology, University of Milano-Bicocca, Milan, Italy

Received 31 October 2011; Accepted 31 October 2011

Copyright © 2011 Hindawi Publishing Corporation and the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


There is good evidence that aphasia therapy is effective if sufficiently prolonged or intensive and that chronic aphasic individuals can also benefit from therapy, but data on chronic aphasia are scanty.

The aim of this retrospective study was to investigate whether chronic aphasia benefits from a very intensive therapeutic regimen. We revised the files (January 2000 to December 2008) of the chronic subjects whom we suggested have periodic sessions in our Unit (generally once a week) and 2–3 hours daily of homework with the help of a family member, supervised and controlled by the speech-therapist. Treatment would go on as long as amelioration is evident. Results for 23 chronic aphasic subjects are reported. All subjects had undergone previous therapy and 10 had been dismissed because no further recovery was expected. Recovery was significant in oral and written nouns and actions naming, oral and written sentence production and Token Test scores. Only 4 subjects did not improve. Severity of the disorder did not predict success or failure. We conclude that recovery was due to the intense work done. Further, we believe such a regimen could be successful in a number of patients for whom a less intensive regimen would not be effective.