Giffords Rebuilds Speech With Song

Experts explain how we use different areas of the brain for song and speech.
5:43 | 11/15/11

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Transcript for Giffords Rebuilds Speech With Song
Tough times. Welcome back to a special edition of Nightline taking us deeper into -- Remarkable inspirational recovery congresswoman Gabby Giffords Diane Sawyer. Bob Woodruff we saw her struggle to find the words as she progresses something. -- senator -- Terry were issued notices this and this is the book is a perfect example of the same thing I felt they get her picture of motorcycles. As the worst as she truck that she said or medical and scary. If you take all local letters of medical and scary they're basically letters that exist in the -- so motorcycle accidents and it's got the sounds of that. No -- -- cycle. It's got that in there. And of -- -- -- the order of the letter he says she's she hears this homes put -- -- them back into the work which ones. Wonderful image in the book that it's as if the words have been blown apart by hurricane. In your brain and that you're trying to reach the -- of them and you get them and they may not be in the right. The right order and you -- have to you have another word that's inserted in the middle of them some. This is -- -- -- some -- -- -- like your office is etched glass is shattered the windows shattered all the files and you you can't fly out -- the street. You go down you get some who bring them back and putting them over with work. Other than just Lohan -- see -- go right back into the -- because the brain comes together to work it takes will. That does a miracle as you see an end a struggle and sometimes. I invite -- case I'm -- and as we'll see next in Gabby Giffords case. The scientists the doctors. Learn from the patient's. -- -- Okay. One month after the shooting Gabby Giffords was in the hospital in Houston. Settling in for the long haul. Years. I can tell you that rebuilding speech after an injury to the left side of the brain. He's exhausted often agonizing work. And for the shooting she was a dynamic. Engaging speaker. -- yeah. Yeah. Fulbright scholar fluent in Spanish. And everyone went out BS now in those early therapy sessions in Houston it's -- It seemed as though words had abandoned her checked out. But those of those injured on the left side of the brain. -- loss of words and make us feel trapped inside our own minds. Right now that. A long way. And then in this emotionally charged moment. Who are absolute amazement we heard this. Remember at this point she couldn't say the word -- Suddenly there she was singing that were. A lot more. And Finland in. -- -- -- -- -- His dad he's music their -- Why is -- that someone who can't speak. Consent because music is accessed in many different areas of the brain they aren't designated for -- -- -- And retrieving pitch melody. Rhythm to all these different areas and those are working to get your language -- -- Remember we told you that language is normally held in the left hemisphere of the brain. Music exists in both hemispheres. Incredibly scientists are finding that music therapy has the potential to rebuild language on the on injured right side. Nothing. To fix the brain so extensively this music and that's really -- -- -- -- lost five notes that playing imagery. We showed it should be impossible to create and view. Language area on the right hemisphere and that through my mind on would have said that's that's -- fantasy. And reminds me of being stuck in traffic on the freeway. You you aren't able to go forward on that pathway anymore but you can exit. And round and get to -- need to get out. In therapy phrases are combined. Didn't. Mind. Okay. Then gradually can music fades away in the words instead on the rooms. It.

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