our research? 

The research being conducted at C-STAR is aimed at understanding how individuals recover from language loss after experiencing a stroke.

We are currently recruiting individuals to participate in this research. Our two clinical sites in South Carolina include the University of South Carolina (Columbia, SC) and the Medical University of South Carolina (Charleston, SC). Participants may enroll in a treatment site closest to them. In special cases, we may be able to provide assistance with transportation and lodging for participants. The following sections briefly outline inclusion criteria and opportunities for participation. If you are interested, or have additional questions, please contact Dr. Leigh Ann Spell at, or by phone, 803-777-2693.

Who may be eligible?

  • We are currently recruiting individuals who:
    • Experienced a left hemisphere stroke at least 12 months ago
    • Are between 25-80 years of age
    • Are able to undergo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
    • Speak English as their primary language
  • Individuals who may be eligible will be asked to undergo preliminary speech/language evaluation(s) to further determine their eligibility. Those who do not qualify for this study may be eligible for other research studies at C-STAR.

What does participation involve?

  • Prior to any study involvement, a C-STAR research specialist will review all procedures, and potential participants will be asked to sign a consent form. All research has been approved by the Institutional Review Board at USC..
  • Participation involves a total of 42 visits, spread out over a 39-week period (this duration does include “rest” breaks).
  • During this time, participants will be asked to do the following:
    • Undergo multiple MRI scans
    • Complete various speech and language assessments
    • Undergo two different types of language therapy; each lasting 3 weeks
  • Testing and treatment will take place at Palmetto Health Richland Hospital, USC or, in special cases, at the participant’s place of residence.

Are there any risks for participating?

  • MRI scanning has potential risks, especially for those who may have implanted medical devices (e.g., pacemakers, other types of metal implants). Some people may also feel claustrophobic while lying in the MRI scanner. Our research staff will review all risk factors with participants prior to MRI scanning to ensure safety.
  • Participants may feel fatigued after assessment/treatment procedures. We will make sure all participants have enough time for rest/breaks to reduce fatigue.
  • A research associate will provide additional details regarding potential risks to all interested participants.

Are there associated costs?

  • Participation is free of charge.
  • Those living more than 35 miles from the study site will be reimbursed for their travel one way. Participants may also qualify for lodging assistance.