Researchers are using a new technology to treat speech movement after stroke. A disorder called apraxia of speech (AOS) may result after brain damage by stroke and affects the timing and placement involved in speech movements.

Dr. William Katz and Diane Garst (UT Dallas and North Texas VA Medical Center) are using a specialized method to track tongue movement during speech called electromagnetic articulography (EMA). EMA feedback allows apraxic/aphasic subjects to visualize their own tongue movements on a computer screen during speech. The subjects use this feedback during treatment to position the tongue for selected speech targets.

Correct tongue placement is often difficult for speech-language pathologists to describe to patients. According to Dr. Katz, "This approach offers a powerful new set of techniques to treat speech after stroke."

This ongoing study is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) and is a collaboration with UTD, the University of Pittsburgh, and the Dallas and Pittsburgh VA hospitals. The Callier Center houses one of approximately 15 EMA systems in the United States.