NIDCD Promotes Increased Research on
Stroke in African-Americans
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders and Howard University sponsored a conference to address the need for increased research on communication disorders and stroke in African-American and other cultural groups. The conference provided researchers and clinicians in communication sciences and disorders, neurology, psychology, and neurolinguistics an opportunity to present overviews of existing research and identify areas of research need. The conference was supported by the Office of Research on Minority Health, National Institutes of Health.
Current data indicate that African Americans have more than twice the risk of stroke compared to their Caucasian counterparts. Many of these individuals who survive a stroke have residual speech or language problems (aphasia) that could be improved through treatment.
For many African Americans, as well as other cultural groups including Hispanic Americans, Native Americans and Asian/Pacific Islander Americans, the best evaluation instruments would be those that are sensitive to language differences. In addition, treatment which strives to restore pre-stroke communication competencies should take these differences into account.
Copies of the conference proceedings, Communication Disorders and Stroke in African-American and Other Cultural Groups: Multidisciplinary Perspectives and Research Needs, are now available through the clearinghouse. The proceedings contain topics on epidemiology, assessment and management of sequelae of stroke, cultural variables, and contemporary issues in acute stroke management and assessment. In addition, the proceedings highlight issues related to environmental and cultural influences on rehabilitation and research, and issues regarding quality of life.