Aphasia - Symptoms, Risk factors and Treatment

Aphasia is a condition in which you have difficulty speaking. It robs you of the ability to communicate. Your ability to write, speak and understand language, both written and verbal, may be affected. 


In apraxia of speech, the brain struggles to develop plans for speech movements, not because the muscles of speech are weak but because the brain can not coordinate well and faces difficulty in directing the actions. To speak in the right manner, the brain needs to learn how to make the movement of the speech muscles like that of the jaw and lips. With apraxia, the brain faces difficulty in doing that. Speech therapy can help in the treatment of apraxia. It can also be accompanied by a disorder called aphasia. But both the conditions are quite different. In aphasia, the person faces difficulty expressing themselves with words. They have difficulty in understanding and using words in and of themselves. People with aphasia find it difficult to read, write and speak. But a person with apraxia has difficulty in initiating and performing the movements one needs for speech. 


Typically apraxia occurs after a stroke or due to some tumors that affect the brain. Moreover, it can also occur due to diseases that can cause degenerative changes in the brain. The severity of the disease depends on various factors, including the cause and extent of brain damage. 



Symptoms


Aphasia itself is a sign of stroke or some other brain disease. A person with aphasia may have the following signs and symptoms;


  • Speaking short sentences

  • Speaking incomplete sentences and ones that do not make sense

  • Speaking in such a way that one word sounds for another or substituting one word for another

  • Speaking words that are hard to recognize or unrecognizable

  • Can not understand other people’s conversation

  • Writing sentences that do not make sense


Patterns of aphasia


People having aphasia may have different weaknesses and strengths, giving them different patterns. They can be defined as;


Expressive aphasia- also known as non-fluent aphasia or Broca’s aphasia is the one in which people can understand other people’s speech better than they speak.


Comprehensive aphasia- also known as fluent or Wernicke’s aphasia is a condition in which people may speak long, complex sentences that are unrecognizable, do not make any sense, and have incorrect or unnecessary words. 



Global aphasia- the type of aphasia in which the person is not able to comprehend and faces difficulty forming sentences and words. It happens when extensive damage occurs to the brain’s language networks. People having global aphasia have a severe disability in expression and comprehension. 



Causes 


Aphasia mostly occurs after a stroke or due to some tumors that affect the brain. Moreover, it can also occur due to diseases that can cause degenerative changes of the brain like Alzheimer's disease, dementia, and epilepsy.


Treatment 


The general treatment of aphasia is; 


  • Occupational therapy 

  • Physical therapy

  • Speech therapy 


Aphasia is usually a symptom of some underlying condition, due to other brain disorders. Therefore, treating them can help get rid of aphasia. In other cases, therapies may help in getting better. 



Conclusion 


Aphasia is a condition in which you have difficulty speaking. It robs you of the ability to communicate. Your ability to write, speak and understand language, both written and verbal, may be affected.


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