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Aphasia is a disorder caused by damage to the parts of the brain that control language. It can make it hard for you to read, write, and say what you mean to say. It is most common in adults who have had a stroke. Brain tumors, infections, injuries, and dementia can also cause it. The type of problem you have and how bad it is depends on which part of your brain is damaged and how much damage there is.

There are four main types:

  • Expressive aphasia - you know what you want to say, but you have trouble saying or writing what you mean
  • Receptive aphasia - you hear the voice or see the print, but you can't make sense of the words
  • Anomic aphasia - you have trouble using the correct word for objects, places, or events
  • Global aphasia - you can't speak, understand speech, read, or write

Some people recover from aphasia without treatment. Most, however, need language therapy as soon as possible.

NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Symptoms of Aphasia

The following features are indicative of Aphasia:
  • inability to comprehend language
  • inability to pronounce, not due to muscle paralysis or weakness
  • inability to speak spontaneously
  • inability to form words
  • inability to name objects
  • poor enunciation
  • excessive creation and use of personal neologisms
  • inability to repeat a phrase
  • persistent repetition of one syllable, word, or phrase
  • paraphasia
  • agrammatism
  • dysprosody
  • incomplete sentences
  • inability to read
  • inability to write
  • limited verbal output
  • difficulty in naming
  • speech disorder
  • speaking gibberish
  • inability to follow
It is possible that Aphasia shows no physical symptoms and still be present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Aphasia

The following are the most common causes of Aphasia:
  • brain tumors
  • traumatic brain injury
  • progressive neurological disorders
  • herpesviral encephalitis
  • dementia

Risk Factors for Aphasia

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Aphasia:
  • obesity
  • heart disease
  • cancer
  • high blood pressure

Prevention of Aphasia

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Aphasia. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • do regular exercise
  • take healthy diet
  • low alcohol consumption
  • control high blood pressure
  • avoid tobacco use

Occurrence of Aphasia

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Aphasia cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Common between 1 - 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Aphasia most commonly occurs in the following age group:
  • Aged > 50 years

Common Gender

Aphasia can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Aphasia

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Aphasia:
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI Scan): To confirm the presence of the brain injury and to identify its exact location

Doctor for Diagnosis of Aphasia

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Aphasia:
  • Neurologist

Complications of Aphasia if untreated

Yes, Aphasia causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Aphasia is left untreated:
  • communication difficulty
  • depression
  • embarrassment
  • relationship problems

Procedures for Treatment of Aphasia

The following procedures are used to treat Aphasia:
  • Copy and Recall Therapy: To strengthen orthographic representations and improve single word reading, writing, and naming
  • Visual Communication Therapy: To represent various components of speech
  • Functional Communication Treatment: To improve activities specific to functional tasks, social interaction and self-expression
  • Promoting Aphasics Communicative Effectiveness: To communicate a given message to their therapists by means of drawing, making hand gestures or even pointing to an object

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Aphasia

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Aphasia:
  • Visual Action Therapy (VAT): To treat individuals with global aphasia
  • Melodic Intonation Therapy (MIT): Helps to cue retrieval of words and expressive language

Patient Support for Treatment of Aphasia

The following actions may help Aphasia patients:
  • Motivation: Family members can motivate the aphasic person on a regular basis to overcome from aphasia

Time for Treatment of Aphasia

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Aphasia to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • More than 1 year

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Aphasia.
Speech and Communication Disorders

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