‘Patients should get the care they need’

The 10th Congress of the World Federation of NeuroRehabilitation (WFNR) kicked off with a bang. In an interesting session on technological applications for Aphasia Rehabilitation, Swathi Kiran, Professor, Boston University, Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences said, as time passes, there will be more tools for patients to tackle it at home

'Patients should get the care they need'

  • Aphasia is a medical condition caused by damage in the brain. It is characterised by a person’s inability to speak, understand, read and write among others.

At WCNR 2018, Swathi Kiran, Professor, Boston University, Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences highlighted, “Patients with aphasia have a hard time getting the therapy they need because of various barriers like not being able to travel and getting the right therapist.

She added, ” There have been a lots of technological advances in synchronous and asynchronous rehabilitation. So that they can actually get the therapy  like telerehabilitation or get therapy at per their convienence and then send the  information to the clinician while sitting at home. But, in all cases patients are able to get therapy at home.”

Swathi Kiran
Swathi Kiran

Talking about the awareness regarding aphasia, she explained, “There is awareness regarding aphasia but there is a lack of understanding about its therapy and how effective it is. There is still a myth that one can only improve in the first few weeks, a month or two after a stroke. The idea that one has to continue with the therapy and improve is not a common knowledge.”

Through this conference, I would like to say that, ” The brain is very plastic. It is capable of constantly learning, changing and rewiring itself. After stroke, the brain continues to be plastic and can relearn information for not just a month after a stroke. But, after several months to years after a stroke.”

As per Prof Swathi, once who have had a stroke, should  identify the places that they can get help. “Get therapy or browse for software programmes.  Because, it can be done at home and it works.”

She further said, “Patients need to get the care they need. They are still struggling to communicate. Educate themselves about stroke and aphasia.”

She signed off by saying, “As time passes, there will be more tools for patients to tackle it at home. So, the patients can manage it at home and would not need to see the doctor every time.”