Thursday, July 27, 2006

IFA conference Day 1 and 2

I am currently in Dublin attending the IFA conference. Here are some interesting talks I have been to.

Gerald Maguire was talking about drug treatment. He also discussed the Pagoclone results. However, he did not reveal much more than at the press release on the Indevus website: see my earlier posts. He said that the journal that they submitted the results to has an embargo until their own press release. And this has not happened yet. Apparently, it is a journal that both practioners and medical doctors might read. So I guess they are aiming for Nature, Science, or Lancet. I asked him whether they take care of the possibility that a few severe stutterers significant improvements can distort the data. He said that they take very severe and mild stutterer out before the stats. To summarise, we need to wait a bit more for more meat on the study. However, he did reveal a bit more on the open-label extension. 90% of the participants kept on taking Pagoclone after the trials. He argued that this is promising.

Katrin Neumann spoke about her group's brain imaging studies on un-assisted recovered stutterers, and compared them to stuttering people and after-therapy people. I cannot remember the details now. But effectively un-assisted recovered stutterers and after-therapy stutterers show differences. She said that a region called BA47 (I think) is activated in un-assissted recovered stutterers. This region seems to have taken over some compensation that made this people fluent speakers. But people who underwent therapy showed different activations. Sorry, I am not being very clear. Just too many slides for 30 minutes.

Per Alm gave a talk on his pet theory that the basal ganglia is crucially involved in stuttering which leads to him explaining many stuttering facts (like fluency enhancing tasks) with the medial and lateral pathways for automatic speech and more-foccused speech. I spoke about this before on this blog. But it was good to hear it again.

More later. I need to go now and prepare my talk for tomorrow!!

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