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Functional neuroimaging has contributed new insights in the field of aphasia research. Techniques like repetitive transcortical magnetic stimulation (rTMS), Wada testing, and cortical stimulation during neurosurgery with grid mapping, all of which inhibit distinct areas of the brain, have determined which nodes of the networks visualized in functional neuroimaging are critical for each function. The neurological examination of a patient with aphasia can be broken down into six major categories: naming, fluency, repetition, comprehension, reading, and writing. The classical aphasia syndromes result from the infarction of defined vascular distributions, each typically associated with a specific set of neurological deficits, also caused by damage to that particular region of the brain. Patients who develop aphasia following acute stroke typically recover well with only mild long-term language deficits. Many of the techniques currently employed by speech-language pathologists focus on treatment of the damaged component of the system.
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