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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 603085, 10 pages
Review Article

Aphasia Therapy in the Age of Globalization: Cross-Linguistic Therapy Effects in Bilingual Aphasia

1Centre de Recherché de l’Institut Universitaire de Gériatrie de Montréal, 4565 Queen Mary Road, Montréal, QC, Canada H3W 1W5
2Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Department, Faculty of Medicine, University of Montreal, Pavillon 7077 Avenue du Parc, local 3001-1, Montréal, QC, Canada H3N 1X7

Received 15 January 2013; Accepted 14 July 2013; Published 11 March 2014

Academic Editor: Jubin Abutalebi

Copyright © 2014 Ana Inés Ansaldo and Ladan Ghazi Saidi. 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.


Introduction. Globalization imposes challenges to the field of behavioural neurology, among which is an increase in the prevalence of bilingual aphasia. Thus, aphasiologists have increasingly focused on bilingual aphasia therapy and, more recently, on the identification of the most efficient procedures for triggering language recovery in bilinguals with aphasia. Therapy in both languages is often not available, and, thus, researchers have focused on the transfer of therapy effects from the treated language to the untreated one. Aim. This paper discusses the literature on bilingual aphasia therapy, with a focus on cross-linguistic therapy effects from the language in which therapy is provided to the untreated language. Methods. Fifteen articles including two systematic reviews, providing details on pre- and posttherapy in the adult bilingual population with poststroke aphasia and anomia are discussed with regard to variables that can influence the presence or absence of cross-linguistic transfer of therapy effects. Results and Discussion. The potential for CLT of therapy effects from the treated to the untreated language depends on the word type, the degree of structural overlap between languages, the type of therapy approach, the pre- and postmorbid language proficiency profiles, and the status of the cognitive control circuit.