Cognitive Rehabilitation Program
Individuals who have suffered a brain injury from a traumatic event, stroke or neurological disorder or other related issues are treated in one-on-one sessions to improve cognitive skills related to attention, memory and problem-solving. The treatment program is designed to work on organization and language capabilities.
Aphasia is an impairment of language. While the sounds of what we say are called speech, the threads that tie us together are woven with words that connect us through shared meaning. Language (names, grammar, syntax, description) can become compromised instantly through stroke or head injury or deteriorate slowly in degenerative neurological conditions. These conditions are just beginning to be understood in the field of neurology, with much of the groundbreaking thought generated here at MGH.
Clinicians at MGH are skilled at assisting the brain to heal through language therapy. They are committed to providing access to comprehensive and individually tailored communication options, as well as skilled in assisting family communication.
Speech refers to the sounds and sequences that we use to deliver the messages of language. Sometimes, people acquire difficulty in being understood in the way that they speak because of problems with pronunciation. Interventions to make speech more intelligible are aimed at ways to improve clarity of articulation, breath support, voice, and even resonance. Speech-language Pathologists use their knowledge and skills to assist the patient in the most optimal use of these “sub-systems” for the best possible production of speech. Individualized treatment programs are available in our main campus facilities.
Amyotropic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Clinic
The condition of ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease) requires early, knowledgeable and multidisciplinary intervention. A person diagnosed with ALS deserves a compassionate and dedicated medical team to work with them and their families. Each set of skills is found here at MGH, where the overall goal of the multidisciplinary clinic is to maximize quality of life. Specific goals are to maximize optimal and safe oral nutrition and communication with a primary focus on the changing the need and wishes of the patient and family according to the disease advancement.
Huntington’s Disease Clinic
The MGH Speech, Language & Swallowing Disorders department partners with neurologists specializing in interdisciplinary care of patients with Huntington’s disease. Twice a month, the speech-language pathologist who staffs the unique MGH Huntington’s disease clinic, joins with clinicians from research, social work, nutrition and physical and occupational therapies to deliver comprehensive and coordinated care to patient’s and their families. Interventions include assistance with cognitive difficulties across all stages of the disease. Safe intake of foods and liquids is also evaluated and treated, always with patient quality of life and food enjoyment as a guiding principle. The speech-language pathologist works in the same room with the dietician for optimal goal identification, planning and education and changing the focus of care as needed.
Individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD) often present with speech and voice disorders including a soft and monotone voice, a hoarse and/or breathy voice quality, and imprecise articulation. As a result, these individuals are less likely to participate in meaningful conversation with friends, co-workers, and loved ones. Many express concerns that they may not be heard or understood. Specially trained speech-language pathologists here at MGH provide an effective therapy program known as the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) to persons with Parkinson’s and other neurological disorders. The therapy is designed to improve vocal loudness. This intensive program (four one-hour sessions per week for four weeks) helps individuals with PD improve their overall communication skills in work, social, and family environments.