(Anomia, Aphasia-associated; Nominal Aphasia; Anomic Aphasia; Difficulty Naming Objects and People)
Pronounced: ah-FAY-zhah ah–SOSH-ee-ay-ted ah-NOM-ee-ah
When you have this condition, it is difficult to name people and things. This is a type of aphasia]]> , which is a language disorder. Aphasia-associated anomia can be treated.
Stroke—Most Common Cause of Aphasia
Like aphasia, anomia is caused by damage to the language areas of the brain. Examples of damage to the brain are:
These factors increase your chance of developing aphasia-associated anomia:
- Being at risk for stroke or dementia
- Having a history of transient ischemic attacks]]> (TIA)
- Being middle to older age (more common in older people)
Tell your doctor if you have any of these risk factors.
If you have any of these symptoms, do not assume it is due to anomia. These symptoms may be caused by other conditions. Tell your doctor if you have difficulty finding the right word when speaking and writing. For example, instead of using an exact word, you may use ambiguous or roundabout speech, such as:
- Using general descriptions instead of specifics: “that place where you sleep” for “bedroom”
- Saying what a thing does, but not what it is: “that thing you drive” for “car”
In most cases, you can understand speech and read.
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. He will do a physical exam and may perform a neurological examination, tests to check brain function, and/or order the following:
- Exam of muscles used in speech
- Tests to assess language skills—for example, identifying objects, defining words, and writing
- CT scan]]> —a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of structures inside the head
- ]]>MRI scan]]> —a test that uses magnetic waves to make pictures of structures inside the head
- ]]>Electroencephalogram (EEG)]]> —a test that records the brain’s activity by measuring electrical currents through the brain (may be done in some situations)
You may be referred to a neurologist. This is a doctor who specializes in diseases of the nervous system.
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include the following:
The speech therapist will help you to:
- Preserve the language skills you have
- Try to restore those you have lost
- Discover new ways of communicating
Therapy may occur one-on-one or in a group. Activities may include:
- Using flash cards with pictures and words to help you name objects
- Repeating words back to the therapist
- Working with computer programs designed to improve speech, hearing, reading, and writing
Family Care and Counseling
You'll learn how to apply the lessons learned in speech therapy to your life. Counseling]]> can help you to adjust to returning home. It can also help your family learn ways to better communicate with you.
Since stroke is a common cause of aphasia, follow these guidelines to help prevent stroke:
- Exercise]]> regularly.
- Eat plenty of ]]>fruits and vegetables]]> .
- ]]>Limit salt]]> and ]]>fat]]> in your diet.
- If you smoke, ]]>quit]]> .
- If you drink, do so in moderation.
- Maintain a ]]>healthy weight]]> .
- Control your ]]>blood pressure]]> .
- Ask your doctor if you should take low-dose ]]>aspirin]]> .
- Properly treat and control chronic conditions, like ]]>diabetes]]> .
- If you have signs of a stroke, get help right away.
National Aphasia Association
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
The Aphasia Institute
Brain Injury Association of Alberta
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
Aphasia. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association website. Available at: http://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/Aphasia.htm . Accessed November 5, 2008.
Aphasia. EBSCO Publishing DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated June 2007. Accessed November 17, 2008.
Aphasia. EBSCO Publishing Patient Education Reference Center website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/thisTopic.php?marketID=16topicID=1034 . Updated November 2008. Accessed November 5, 2008.
Aphasia. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communicative Disorders website. Available at: http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/voice/aphasia.asp . Accessed November 5, 2008.
Kirshner HS. Aphasia and aphasic syndromes. In: Bradley WG, Daroff RB, Fenichel GM, Jankovic J, eds. Neurology in Clinical Practice. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Butterworth Heniemann Elsevier; 2008: 141-160.
More aphasia facts. The National Aphasia Association website. Available at: http://www.aphasia.org/Aphasia%20Facts/aphasia_facts.html . Accessed November 5, 2008.
Stedman TL. Stedman’s Medical Dictionary. 28th ed. Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2005: 117; B9; B13; 1849-1850.
Winn P, ed. Dictionary of Biological Psychology. London, England: Routledge; 2001: 95-96
Last reviewed November 2008 by ]]>Judy Chang, MD, FAASM]]>
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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