Aphasia

Updated: Jul 6, 2020


SFS Therapies
Aphasia

Aphasia is a language disorder caused by stroke or trauma to the left-hemisphere of the brain.  Individuals with aphasia can have difficulties with:

  • Speaking 

  • Reading 

  • Writing 

  • Understanding spoken language.  

There are several types of aphasia based on the location of the stroke, the type of language impairments, and severity of the impairment. They are:

  • Broca’s Aphasia - A person with Broca’s aphasia may only be able to say three or four words at a time. It may take a lot of effort to say words or string together sentences. People with this kind of aphasia have limited vocabulary and trouble finding the words they want to use. At the same time, people with Broca’s aphasia tend to understand speech well. Broca’s aphasia is sometimes called “non-fluent aphasia”.

  • Wernicke’s Aphasia- For a person with Wernicke's Aphasia,speaking isn’t difficult; in fact, the words pour out of the mouth with ease. The problem is that the words are not coherent and/or those words aren't coming together to form coherent sentences. Wernicke’s aphasia also affects reading and writing. Wernicke’s aphasia is sometimes called “fluent aphasia.”

  • Anomic Aphasia-People with anomic aphasia can’t find the words they want to use, and this is particularly true when trying to come up with the correct noun or verb. They get around the missing words by using many other similar words or filling in the blank spaces with vague fillers like “stuff” or “thing.” People with anomic aphasia understand speech and they can usually read, but they sometimes have the same difficulties relative to word finding in their writing.

  • Global Aphasia-This is the most severe form of aphasia. People with global aphasia cannot speak many words and sometimes don’t understand speech. They typically cannot read or write. People may have global aphasia for a short period of time following a brain injury or stroke, and then move into a different type of aphasia as their brain health begins to improve.

  • Primary Progressive Aphasia-Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA) is a form of dementia where people lose the ability to read, write, speak and understand language over time. It’s a gradual loss of language over time, moving from subtle to severe when in advance stages.There are three types of PPA – Semantic, Logopenic and Non-Fluent -agrammatic.

Treatment


Following a stroke, changes may occur in the brain which help it to recover. As a result, people with aphasia often see dramatic improvements in their language and communication abilities within the first few months