Huge problem: There’s not much information on how losing one or multiple languages affects bilingual brains as well as little research on language recovery for bilingual aphasic patients

What is bilingual aphasia? Is it common?

Definition of Aphasia: Aphasia describes a multitude of acquired language impairment resulting from brain injury, most often but not exclusively following a stroke.

Bilingual Aphasia: A form of aphasia that affects one or more languages of a bilingual/multilingual individual

Bilingual aphasia is a global issue...

  • More than half of the world is bilingual
  • Predicted 45,000 annual bilingual aphasia cases in the United States alone (2001)

What questions do we have? (There are many)

Why does it happen? How is it different to “normal” aphasia? Do you lose both? Do you have to learn one at a time? Can you only lose one? Can you recover both? Different languages focus on different characteristics; I.e: Chinese focus on phonetics; Correlation between the two languages affect the aphasia? What happens when you lose the languages, does it affect everything else that bilingualism is believed to strengthen?

Bilingual aphasic patients show various patterns of language recovery, and often, are unable to recover both. How can we stabilize this? Can we try to get an equal and parallel language recovery?

We also had a couple ideas that weren't that rock n' roll..

Bilingual education through music

  • We felt as though it wasn’t related to language and the brain, and it is already an existing solution

Using melodic intonation therapy to teach second languages

  • This was very similar to ideas we already saw proposed for moonshots. It was also difficult to hone in on a specific group of people to help: do we teach children languages this way or do we teach people past the critical period, and how do we decide?

More information for the bilingual nerds out there: