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Digital app improves speech in stroke patients: NIHR study

A recent NIHR-supported study highlights the effectiveness of iTalkBetter, a digital platform that improves speech for those with aphasia. Developed by the Neurotherapeutics Group at University College London's Queen Square Institute of Neurology, iTalkBetter analyzes speech in real-time, offering personalized feedback and enabling users to practice over 200 common words at their own pace. Aphasia, often caused by brain damage from stroke or injury, results in speech and language difficulties.

In a study involving 27 participants over six weeks, users saw a 13% improvement in naming common items, with sustained gains even 12 weeks post-therapy. MRI scans showed increased brain activity related to language functions after using iTalkBetter. NHS currently provides 12 hours of speech therapy, with additional options through charities or private sources. The app will soon be accessible to eligible patients, with study results published in eClinicalMedicine.