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Neuropsicologia Latinoamericana

On-line version ISSN 2075-9479


FERRE, Perrine et al. Clinical profiles of communication impairments after a right-hemisphere stroke: crosscultural clusters. Neuropsicologia Latinoamericana [online]. 2009, vol.1, n.1, pp. 32-40. ISSN 2075-9479.

After a century of darkness, it is now accepted that a right brain damage may lead to communication disorders. About 50% of right hemisphere damaged individuals present with disorders of prosodic, discourse, pragmatics and / or lexical semantics dimensions of verbal communication. These aspects of communication has been described in isolation in the literature, but no study has been devoted to the fact that they might co-exist in a same individual following certain patterns. Like the portraits of aphasia associated with left brain injury, describing patterns of communication following a right brain damage will help to identify problems and to allow appropriate clinical intervention in speech and language therapy. The sample was made up of 71 right brain damaged individuals from 3 nationalities (Canadians, Brazilians, Argentinians), with controlled clinical and socio-demographic characteristics. They were assessed using the 14 language tasks Protocol MEC. A hierarchical cluster analysis led to five distinct clinical profiles of communication impairment. The first group presents with multiple and severe communicative disorders, the second with mainly conversational difficulties, the third semantic and pragmatic impairments, the fourth semantic and prosodic deficits, while a fifth group shows no significant disorders. These profiles seem to be partially influenced by certain clinical variables (type of lesion) and demographic (age) but weakly related to cultural background, suggesting the existence of translinguistic profiles. This study in development proposes a first taxonomia of communication disorders among right brain damaged individuals. The continuation of that study and the exploration of associated stroke sites and neuropsychological underlying deficits will contribute into a better neuropsychological and speech language pathology clinical intervention for that population.

Keywords : Right hemisphere; Communication; Stroke; Clusters; Assessment.

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