Addressing communication disability after brain injury

The Centre of Research Excellence in Aphasia Rehabilitation and Recovery (Aphasia CRE) is transforming the health and wellbeing of people with aphasia and their families

The Centre of Research Excellence in Aphasia Rehabilitation and Recovery (Aphasia CRE) is transforming the health and wellbeing of people with aphasia and their families.

The national research centre is based at La Trobe and led by Professor Miranda Rose, with investigators, postdoctoral fellows, students, and affiliates Australia-wide and internationally.

“There are approximately 140,000 people in Australia living with aphasia,” explains Professor Rose. “Aphasia arises from a range of brain conditions including stroke, brain tumour, traumatic brain injury, or certain types of dementia.”

Aphasia can impact all areas of language, including speaking, reading, writing, understanding spoken language, and using numbers.

“People with aphasia retain their intelligence, but they are unable to easily communicate their thoughts or to understand others,” says Professor Rose. “Families and friends can facilitate meaningful communication by speaking slowly and supporting the person with aphasia to take their time, gesture, draw pictures, or write words.”

The Aphasia CRE’s team of researchers – encompassing speech pathology, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, nursing, medicine, psychology, neuropsychology, implementation science, health economics and biostatistics – are producing ground-breaking research on aphasia, thanks to the generous support of the National Health and Medical Research Council.

“Our core research includes identifying the clinical characteristics that reliably predict recovery outcomes, treatment effectiveness across the recovery journey, technology for communication and rehabilitation, and how we can optimise the mental health and wellbeing in those living with aphasia,” explains Professor Rose.

The Aphasia CRE also establishes community support groups, develops communication technology resources for clients, families and clinicians, and investigates programs to support the mental health of people living with aphasia and their families.

“When someone loses the ability to communicate, it has a huge impact on the person living with aphasia, as well as their partners, children, relatives, and friends,” Professor Rose says. “The Aphasia CRE aims to help people with aphasia to live well.”

Find out more about the Aphasia CRE.