Aphasia is a language disorder that has a whole month dedicated to it in June, but how many people actually know the intricacies of this complex disorder?
When parts of the brain that are in control of language and communication are injured, the condition aphasia can be a result of the damage, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website.
Aphasia is characterized by having a hard time communicating what you’re saying, having difficulties comprehending speech, and having reading and writing issues. Aphasia is an acquired condition, since it’s caused by brain damage.
The National Aphasia Association defines aphasia as “an acquired communication disorder that impairs a person's ability to process language, but does not affect intelligence.” Aphasia is most commonly caused by having a stroke, but other causes include head injuries, brain tumors and other neurological issues, according to the website.
Compared to other health conditions like Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy, aphasia is more common since about 1 in 250 Americans have it.
The prognosis depends on what the cause of aphasia is, other factors like symptoms and location, and depends on the individual. Some people can recover from aphasia with help.
The four main types of aphasia are expressive, receptive, anomic and global, according to a National Institutes of Health website. Expressive aphasia is also known as Broca’s aphasia, and receptive aphasia is also known as Wernicke’s aphasia.
Broca’s aphasia, which is considered a non-fluent aphasia, is characterized by speaking issues, according to the National Health Service website. People who have Broca’s aphasia can generally only speak with a minimal amount of words in cut-ff sentences, but they are still able to get the general idea across of what they want to say.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website states that expressive aphasia is also characterized by issues with writing, and that a person with this type of aphasia “knows what he wants to say, but cannot find the words he needs.”