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ARUK 2023 | Advances in speech and language therapy

Alex Leff, MBBS, BSc, PhD, FRCP, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, University College London Hospitals NHS Trust, London, UK, outlines recent advances and key research interests in speech and language rehabilitation. Language impairments are common after stroke and traumatic brain injuries, and while specialist therapy is known to improve recovery, access to care is insufficient for many. Financial confines, limitations of government funded healthcare availability, and lack of specialist availability in lower resource settings can all contribute to individuals not receiving the dose of therapy necessary for optimal outcomes. Experts in the field are developing ways to improve access. One approach is the development of digital therapy apps that patients can use at home. While not providing the holistic approach provided by formal speech and language therapy, apps such as these are a convenient way to increase the rehabilitation dose many patients are exposed to. Short-term intensive programs are also being trialed, such as Intensive Comprehensive Aphasia Programs (ICAPs). Prof. Leff and his team at The Specialist NHS Aphasia Clinic have been running ICAPs which can give good results but are costly to undertake. This interview took place at the Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK) Conference 2023 in Aberdeen, UK.

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