Aphasia (Speech and Language Deficit Research)

Dr. Nina Dronkers, PhD

(Link to Dr. Dronkers’ page)

Dr. Dronkers’ lab, located at the VANCHCS Martinez facility, focuses on Veterans who are suffering from speech and language deficits. Having worked with hundreds of aphasic individuals over the years, she and her research team have come to learn that injury to certain brain areas ultimately result in specific persisting deficits.

For instance, with someone who has just had a stroke, she uses this information combined with the images from the patient’s own MRI scan to help both patient and caregivers understand what has happened to them, how the person’s language was affected, and what they can expect to see a year later.

We know which deficits need directed treatment and which will resolve spontaneously with time.

By looking at regions that have been injured vs those that are spared, we can also advise on treatment strategies that make use of the intact brain regions.

Thus, we have been able to concentrate our resources on the long-term problems that will impact the patient’s communication the most, and direct patient and clinician time appropriately.

If you would like more information about this work, please contact Dr. Nina Dronkers at the Center for Aphasia and Related Disorders, 150 Muir Road, Martinez, CA. at 925-372-2925.