Aphasia causes , symptoms, Treatment

DEFINITION

Aphasia is a condition that robs you of the ability to communicate. It can affect your ability to speak, write and understand language, both verbal and written.

Aphasia typically occurs suddenly after a Stroke or a head injury. But it can also come on gradually from a slow-growing brain Tumor or a disease that causes progressive, permanent damage (degenerative). Where and how bad the brain damage is and what caused it determine the degree of disability.

Once the cause has been addressed, the main treatment for aphasia is speech and language therapy. The person with aphasia relearns and practices language skills and learns to use other ways to communicate. Family members often participate in the process, helping the person communicate.

SYMPTOMS

Aphasia is a sign of some other condition, such as a Stroke or a 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
  • Not understand other people’s conversation
  • Write sentences that don’t make sense
  • The severity and scope of the problems depend on the extent of damage and the area of the brain affected.

    Types of aphasia

    Your doctor may refer to aphasia as nonfluent, Fluent or global:

    Nonfluent aphasia. 

    Damage to the language network near the left frontal area of the brain usually results in Broca aphasia, which is also called nonfluent aphasia. People with this disorder struggle to get words out, speak in very short sentences and omit words. A person might say “Want food” or “Walk park today.” A listener can usually understand the meaning.

    People with Broca aphasia may understand what other people say better than they can speak. They’re often aware of their difficulty communicating and may get frustrated. People with Broca aphasia may also have right-sided paralysis or weakness.

  • Fluent aphasia. 
  • People with this form of aphasia may speak easily and Fluently in long, complex sentences that don’t make sense or include unrecognizable, incorrect or unnecessary words. They usually don’t understand spoken language well and often don’t realize that others can’t understand them. Also known as Wernicke aphasia, this type of aphasia is the result of damage to the language network in the middle left side of the brain.

    Global aphasia. 

    Global aphasia results from extensive damage to the brain’s language networks. People with global aphasia have severe disabilities with expression and comprehension.

    CAUSES

    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 leads to brain cell death or damage in areas that control language.

    Brain damage caused by a severe head injury, a Tumor, an infection or a degenerative process also can cause aphasia. In these cases, the aphasia usually 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 can occur. These can be due to Migraines, seizures or a Transient ischemic attack (TIA). A TIA occurs when blood flow is temporarily blocked to an area of the brain. People who’ve had a TIA are at an increased risk of having a Stroke in the near future.

    COMPLICATIONS

    Aphasia can create numerous quality-of-life problems because communication is so much a part of your life. Communication difficulty may affect your:

  • Job
  • Relationships
  • Day-to-day function
  • Language barriers may lead to embarrassment, Depression and relationship problems.
  • TREATMENTS AND DRUGS

    If the brain damage is mild, a person may recover language skills without treatment. However, most people undergo speech and language therapy to rehabilitate their language skills and supplement their communication experiences. Researchers are currently investigating the use of medications, alone or in combination with speech therapy, to help people with aphasia.

    Speech and language rehabilitation

    Recovery of language skills is usually a relatively slow process. Although most people make significant progress, few people regain full pre-injury communication levels.

    For aphasia, speech and language therapy tries to improve the person’s ability to communicate by restoring as much language as possible, teaching how to compensate for lost language skills and finding other methods of communicating.

    Therapy:

    Starts early. Some studies have found that therapy is most effective when it begins soon after the brain injury.

    Often works in groups. In a group setting, people with aphasia can try out their communication skills in a safe environment. Participants can practice initiating conversations, speaking in turn, clarifying misunderstandings and fixing conversations that have completely broken down.

    May include use of computers. Using computer-assisted therapy can be especially helpful for relearning verbs and word sounds (phonemes).

    Medications

    Certain drugs are currently being studied for the treatment of aphasia. These include drugs that may improve blood flow to the brain, enhance the brain’s recovery ability or help replace depleted chemicals in the brain (neurotransmitters). Several medications, such as memantine (Namenda) and piracetam, have shown promise in small studies. But more research is needed before these treatments can be recommended.

    About Nursefaith 44 Articles
    Hello____ my name is faith,and a nurse by profession loves taking care of people especially your health. I am here whenever you need me,for everyday care or life-changing care,you can count on me to keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy.

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