Aphasia is a disorder that affects the way you communicate. it can affect the way you speak, as well as the way you write and understand both spoken and written language.
Aphasia often occurs suddenly after a stroke or head injury. but it can also arise gradually from a slow-growing brain tumor or from a disease that causes progressive and permanent (degenerative) damage. the severity of aphasia depends on several factors, including the cause and extent of brain damage.
The main treatment of aphasia is to treat the condition that causes it, as well as speech and language therapy. the person with aphasia relearns and practices language skills and learns to use other ways to communicate. family members are often involved in the process, helping the person communicate.
Aphasia is a symptom of some other condition, such as a stroke or brain tumor.
a person with aphasia may:
- speak in short or incomplete sentences
- speak in sentences that don’t make sense
- substitute one word for another or one sound for another
- speak unrecognizable words
- has trouble finding words
- not understanding other people’s conversation
- not understand what they read
- write sentences that don’t make sense
- Broca’s aphasia
- wernicke’s aphasia
- transcortical aphasia
- conduction aphasia
- mixed aphasia
- global aphasia
- logopenic aphasia
- semantic aphasia
- difficulty speaking
- trouble understanding speech
- difficulty remembering words
- problems with reading or writing
- day-to-day function
People with aphasia may have different strengths and weaknesses in their speech patterns. Sometimes these patterns are labeled as different types of aphasia, including:
These patterns describe how well the person can understand what others are saying. they also describe how easy it is for the person to correctly speak or repeat what another person says.
Aphasia can develop slowly over time. when that happens, aphasia can be labeled with one of these names:
many people with aphasia have patterns of speech difficulty that do not match these types. It may be helpful to consider that each person with aphasia has unique symptoms, strengths, and weaknesses rather than trying to label a particular type of aphasia.
when to see a doctor
Because aphasia is often a sign of a serious problem, such as a stroke, seek emergency medical attention if you or a loved one suddenly develops:
The most common cause of aphasia is brain damage resulting from a stroke: the blockage or rupture of a blood vessel in the brain. loss of blood to the brain causes brain cell death or damage to areas that control language.
Brain damage caused by a severe head injury, tumor, infection, or degenerative process can also cause aphasia. in these cases, aphasia often occurs with other types of cognitive problems, such as memory problems or confusion.
Primary progressive aphasia is the term used for language difficulty that develops gradually. this is due to the gradual degeneration of brain cells located in the language networks. sometimes this type of aphasia will progress to a more generalized dementia.
Sometimes temporary episodes of aphasia may occur. these may be due to migraines, seizures, or a transient ischemic attack (tia). A tia occurs when blood flow is temporarily blocked in an area of the brain. People who have had an aunt are at increased risk of having a stroke in the near future.
Aphasia can create numerous quality of life problems because communication is such an important part of your life. communication difficulty can affect your:
difficulty expressing wants and needs can result in shame, frustration, isolation, and depression. other problems can occur together, such as more difficulty moving and problems with memory and thinking.