Speech Therapy

Causes And Types of Aphasia

Aphasia is a language and speech disorder. Aphasia may be the direct result of a stroke or a brain damage, where the parts of the brain that deal with speech are affected. Older people are known to be more vulnerable to aphasia.

The National Aphasia Association confirms that around 25-40 percent people who have a stroke suffer from aphasia. So, what are the causes and types of aphasia?

Causes of Aphasia: Let us look at the reasons behind aphasia occurrence.

  • Aphasia might take over after a person survives a stroke.
  • It is also known to occur when a person suffers a brain injury and the particular parts of the brain that deal with language are affected.
  • Brain tumor may also lead to aphasia.
  • Brain infections are also known to be a cause.
  • Alzheimer’s disease which is a particular type of dementia also may lead to aphasia.
  • Certain neurological disorders like epilepsy may exhibit symptoms of aphasia.

Problems Associated with Aphasia: Aphasia is basically a communication disorder.

  • A person suffering from aphasia might have a difficulty in placing words together in order to communicate. Intellectually there would be no problem in the brain. But, an aphasia sufferer would just not be able to finish putting their thoughts forth and find speaking a very difficult task.
  • Not just speaking, but they would even find writing very difficult due to the inability to find the right words. Understanding conversations could also prove to be a very hectic task for aphasia sufferers.

Types of Aphasia: There are several types of aphasia that could affect people and their symptoms could be anywhere between mild and severe. Let us look at some of the types of aphasia.

Broca’s Aphasia: Broca’s aphasia is also called non-fluent aphasia. People are affected with this when the brain’s left frontal area is damaged. The right side of the body would be rendered paralytic and a person would only leave his sentences incomplete. What they are trying to convey can still be understood though.

For example, a patient suffering from Broca’s may just say “want water” which is incomplete.

Wernicke Aphasia: Wernicke aphasia is also called fluent aphasia. In this kind, the middle left portion of the brain is damaged. A person suffering from Wernicke would speak long and complex sentences, but comprehending what he has spoken is very tough.

Global Aphasia: Known to be one of the most severe forms of aphasia, this affects the language oriented parts of the brain when a person suffers a stroke. Expressing the thoughts for a person affected with this kind would seem impossible.

Receptive Aphasia: Persons suffering from receptive aphasia find it very difficult understanding verbal or written conversations. They can hear voices but they are unable to make out what the others are talking.

Anomic Aphasia: Patients suffering from this kind cannot find the appropriate words for either speaking or writing. This syndrome is known as anomia.

Primary progressive Aphasia: As the name suggests, this kind of aphasia keeps progressing with no reversal or treatment. Patients gradually would lose their speaking, writing and listening abilities. Lack of speech would prompt these patients to use any other mode of communication.

The causes and types of aphasia are thus understood. Aphasia cannot be prevented, but speech therapy and proper medication would help stroke survivors suffering from aphasia.

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