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Language & Aphasia

 Research Program

We have successfully characterized a three-node resting state fMRI network that underlies language processing. In addition to sharing equivalents of well-known Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas, this three-node network shows stronger connectivity in the left hemisphere (Hurley et al., 2015) and specifically includes the left anterior temporal lobe, a critical region important in specific name retrieval. Based upon the resting state fMRI network and its expanded connectivity, we are examining network impairment in individuals with PPA. This project is funded by a five-year K23 (career development) award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Results related to the first aim of the grant were published in March 2017 (Bonakdarpour, et al., 2017), when we demonstrated that in persons with mild PPA resting state fMRI network connectivity was impaired, even in the absence of structural changes. Resting state fMRI, therefore, seems to have a promising ability to help us understand abnormal network connectivity in PPA individuals and can complement structural evaluations using brain MRI. Results from our area of study will help us locate targets for neuromodulatory treatments such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and better evaluate the effect of therapeutic interventions.

 Press & Publications






  • Updates on Primary Progressive Aphasia, Lecture presented for the Global Neurology Institute (GNI), January, 2022.
  • Garjani, M., Barbieri E., Rogalski E., Weintraub S., Mesulam, M., Bonakdarpour B. (2021) Neural Mechanisms Underlying Naming IN Behavioral Variant Frontotemporal Dementia. Abstract presented at the ANA Annual Meeting, October, 2021 (virtual).
  • Grasso, S, Peña E, Kazemi N, Mirzapour, H, Neupane R, Bonakdarpour B, Gorno-Tempini, Henry, M. (2021) “Treatment for Anomia in Bilingual Speakers with Progressive Aphasia.” Abstract presented at the AAIC2021.
  • 5/11/23: LINC and NMMP present at the Annual Alzheimer's Day  (see my news page)
  • 10/4/2023 The tDCS team starts enrolling participants with the diagnosis of Aphasic Dementia for trial of 4 week intervention for treamtent of anomia and impaired sentence production.  (see my news page)

 Lab News

  • October 2022: Borna Bonakdarpour served as a Social Media Ambassador at the 147th Annual Meeting of the American Neurological Association (ANA) in Chicago. See conference updates on Twitter.
  • October 2022: Borna Bonakdarpour will be presenting results from a recent study on brain physiologic alterations in primary progressive aphasia in Lille, France, at the International Society for Frontotemporal Dementias meeting. Authors include: Borna Bonakdarpour, Jordan Behn, Jackie Takarabe, Leigh Christopher, Christina Coventry, Sandra Weintraub, Emily Rogalski, Marsel Mesulam
  • May 2022: Bonakdarpour Lab and the Northwestern Music and Medicine program will attend the Northwestern 28th Annual Alzheimer Day and present on current research and initiatives during the poster session. For more information, please visit the conference website.

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