Speech Therapy

Cerebral Vascular Accident-Speech and Language Disorders

The human brain needs constant blood supply for it to function appropriately. It is the blood that supplies oxygen to the brain and any disruption of the supply can lead to fatal consequences. A cerebral vascular accident or a stroke is usually the result of a disrupted blood supply. An inconsistent supply of oxygen to the brain would damage the brain cells beyond repair and in this process all the organs associated with the dead brain cells begin to dysfunction.

A stroke, thus can also lead to various speech and language disorders.

Causes of a Cerebral Vascular Accident: Let us look at the conditions responsible for a stroke.

  • Blood Clot: A clot can stop the supply of blood to the brain due to the clogging of arteries.
  • Atherosclerosis: Formation of blood clots due to the hardening of brain leading arteries.
  • Burst Artery: Arteries can become weak and burst which would spill blood into the adjacent areas.
  • Brain Haemorrhage: Bleeding that occurs in the brain due to a burst artery.

Speech Disorders due to a Stroke: One of the major consequences of a stroke are difficulties related to speech and language. Any impact on the brain’s language centre due to a stroke can lead to some major expressive difficulties. Let us look at some of the disorders.

  • Dysarthria: The muscle strength of the speech articulators (tongue, jaw, throat) is reduced there by leading to the inability.
  • Verbal Apraxia: In this disorder, the speech articulators are healthy, but the signal from the brain to perform voice oriented activities is interrupted there by leading to speech difficulties.
  • Oral Apraxia: Even in the absence of any disorders like paralysis or any apparent muscle damage, a person would be able to perform speech activities.
  • Dysphagia: This leads to swallowing problems obstructing the clarity and the production of speech.

Language Disorders: Aphasia is the major language disorder in people post a stroke recovery. Any activity related language like speaking, reading, writing, understanding and comprehending gestures are severely affected.

  • Receptive Aphasia: Written and spoken language skills are affected. Comprehension skills should act as a means of communication post recovery.
  • Expressive Aphasia: Conveying expressions through speech and writing is affected. Written and verbal expressive skills need to be looked at as an alternative.

A cerebral vascular accident can render a person damaged in many ways. One severe symptom is the inability to produce speech and language. Speech therapy and voice exercises or use of other communicative aids should provide some kind of help to people who escape a stroke.

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