Short-Term and Working Memory Treatments for Improving Sentence Comprehension in Aphasia: A Review and a Replication Study

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Abstract

Although the roles of verbal short-term and working memory on spoken sentence comprehension skills in persons with aphasia have been debated for many years, the development of treatments to mitigate verbal short-term and working memory deficits as a way of improving spoken sentence comprehension is a new avenue in treatment research. In this article, we review and critically appraise this emerging evidence base. We also present new data from five persons with aphasia of a replication of a previously reported treatment that had resulted in some improvement of spoken sentence comprehension in a person with aphasia. The replicated treatment did not result in improvements in sentence comprehension. We forward recommendations for future research in this, admittedly weak at present, but important clinical research avenue that would help improve our understanding of the mechanisms of improvement of short-term and working memory training in relation to sentence comprehension.

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