Q: How do I know if I am eligible to participate in this study / What are the qualifications?

ANSWER:  To participate in any CNLR studies, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Have aphasia (difficulty understanding or using language) resulting from a stroke at least 1 year ago
  • English is the primary language you speak
  • Meet our MRI safety criteria
    • You should not be severely claustrophobic
    • Your body should be free of metal/surgical implants. CNLR staff will discuss this with you and ask for relevant medical records, if necessary

Q: How much of a time commitment is this study going to be if I choose to participate?

SHORT ANSWER:  There will be a 6 month time commitment overall, with the possibility of involvement for 12 months.  More details are discussed below.  Please refer to our Timeline.

LONG ANSWER:  The level of your commitment depends on which group you are assigned:

If you are assigned to the Treatment Group this will involve a 6 month time commitment overall.  First, you will undergo pre-testing, which includes administration of a set of language and cognitive evaluations and neuroimaging scanning to see how your brain processes language.  Following this, you will receive language treatment for 3 months—2 times a week.  This is followed by post-treatment tests of language, cognitive  and brain processing.  Three months after these post-treatment tests, we will once again evaluate your language, cognitive and brain processing.  Then you will be finished with the study.

If you are assigned to the Control Group your involvement also will be for 6 months. We will administer a set of language and cognitive tests and complete neuroimaging evaluation at the beginning of the study and 3 and 6 months later. Then you will be finished with the “Control Group” activities. After that, you will be eligible to join the Treatment Group or other treatment will be provided for 3 months at no cost to you.

Q: Where is the Center located?

ANSWER:  The Center study sites are located in laboratories in Baltimore, Maryland, Boston, Massachusetts, and Chicago, Illinois.

Q: I live in a different state from any of the Center’s locations, can I participate in this study?

ANSWER:  You may be able to participate in this study even if you do not live near the testing sites.  First we will evaluate you to see if you are eligible for any of the studies.  Please contact us at

Q: Can I participate in other forms of therapy and/or treatment while I am a part of this study?

ANSWER:  We ask that you not participate in therapy or treatment for the specific language impairments focused on in the study you are participating in. However, you may participate in non-specific group therapy, stroke support groups, or therapies focused on other impairments resulting from stroke (e.g., physical therapy, occupational therapy).

Q: Why should I participate? / Will I benefit? / Do I get compensation for my time?

ANSWER:  There is no cost for participating in the study and all treatment is provided free of charge. You may be compensated for participation in our neuroimaging studies and for travel expenses incurred.

Participation also may improve your language abilities. Our previous research has shown clear improvements resulting from the treatments we will provide, even for people who had strokes many years ago. Additionally, your participation will greatly enhance our knowledge about the brain’s ability to recover from stroke.

Q: I want to participate but I am not able to get there, what should I do?

ANSWER:  Depending on how far you live, we may arrange for a car service or taxi to bring you to and from the lab for therapy and/or assessments.

Q: Are there any risks associated with this study?

ANSWER:  In general, there is no risk associated with the treatments we provide, although you may experience frustration during treatment sessions related to your difficulty with language. As treatment progresses, however, frustration  usually decreases.

The neuroimaging evaluations that will be administered involve MRI (magnetic resonance imaging).  This is considered to be very safe. Some people, however, cannot participate because of metal or electronic implants or other conditions. Before determining your eligibility for the research, we will evaluate you for any possible risks.

Q: I have aphasia but I never had a stroke, can I participate?

ANSWER:  In this study we are only studying people with stroke-induced aphasia .  However you may qualify for other studies.  Contact Benjamin Rader (  for more information.  Click here to learn more about the Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA) Research Program at Northwestern University.


Q: Where can I find more information about the study and research laboratories where Center studies are conducted?

ANSWER:  Go to our websites:

  1. Northwestern University: Aphasia and Neurolinguistics Research Laboratory
  2. Boston University: Aphasia Research Laboratory
  3. Johns Hopkins University: CogNeuro Research Lab