Aphasia

Overview of Aphasia

Aphasia Meaning in Urdu

یہ بیماری بولنے کی صلاحیت کو متاثر کرتی ہے، اس بیماری کی وجہ سے دماغ کا وہ حصہ متاثر ہوتا ہے جو بولنے کی صلاحیت کے متعلق ہوتا ہے۔ اس بیماری کا شکار افراد دوسرے سے مؤثر طریقے سے بات چیت نہیں کر پاتے، اس لیے دوسروں کو ان کی بات سمجھنے میں مشکلات کا سامنا کرنا پڑتا ہے۔ بہت سارے لوگوں کو اسٹروک کی وجہ سے اس بیماری کا سامنا کرنا پڑتا ہے۔ درمیانی عمر کے انسانوں کو اس بیماری کا زیادہ سامنا کرنا پڑتا ہے۔ اس بیماری کو عام طور پر بہت سی اقسام میں تقسیم کیا جاتا ہے۔

Aphasia is a communication disorder. It is a language impairment and affects the ability to speak, understand, read, or write. It occurs after a brain injury or as an aftereffect of a stroke. Brain injury can include head trauma, a slowly progressing brain tumor, or some progressive neurological disease. 

Aphasia can co-occur with other speech disorders like dysarthria or apraxia of speech. Usually, the left side of the brain is responsible for speech and other related activities. 

 

It can be mild or severe depending upon several conditions. The most important of which is, the cause and extent of brain damage. Once the major cause of aphasia is identified, the treatment of aphasia can be started. 

 

Signs and Symptoms of Aphasia

A person suffering from Aphasia faces issues in 4 ways associated with the understanding and usage of language. These are: 

  1. Reading 
  2. typing/writing 
  3. Listening 
  4. Speaking 

These four issues can affect one’s ability to converse in the following ways:

  • Speak in sentences that don't make any sense 
  • Speak unrecognizable words 
  • Write sentences that don't make any sense
  •  Not being able to comprehend someone else’s conversation 
  • Speak in short and incomplete sentences

Aphasia can occur as a result of brain damage or some other disorders like visual difficulties, mobility patterns, limb weakness, or issues with memory and thinking skills. 

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Types of Aphasia

There are multiple types of aphasia. The condition of each type can be from mild to severe. For proper treatment, correct diagnoses are very important. The most common types of aphasia are: 

1- Broca’s Aphasia:

This is also known as Comprehensive Aphasia or nonfluent aphasia. People suffering from this type are better at comprehending other peoples’ speech than they can speak. They struggle to get words out and speak in short incomplete sentences. he/she might say, “Eat bread” or “Walk dog”. 

Although the sentences are incomplete and short, the listener can still understand them. The patient himself understands his ability to speak properly which can infuriate or annoy him. A person facing Broca's aphasia can also have right-sided paralysis or weakness.  

2- Wernicke’s Aphasia:

This is commonly also known as Expressive or fluent aphasia. The people having this type of aphasia can speak in long and complex sentences that don't make any sense. These sentences can include unrecognizable words and sounds or some unnecessary or misplaced words. As a result of this, they usually can't comprehend others’ speech and don't realize that others cant understand the, 

3- Global Aphasia 

Global aphasia results from extensive damage to the brain’s language networks. This type of aphasia is characterized by extreme difficulty in forming words and sentences and an inability to understand other conversations.  

A person having global aphasia can neither read nor write. 

It is usually observed immediately after a patient has suffered a stroke and can quickly recover if not much damage to the brain has been done. However, with extensive and more long-lasting damage, severe disability in speaking/ reading can occur. 

4- Anomic Aphasia 

In this type of aphasia, the person has this inability to supply words for the things they want to say. Especially nouns and verbs. This inability to supply suitable words can frustrate them. They can understand others’ speech well and can read as well but their ability to speak and write becomes limited. 

Some other types include primary progressive aphasia. This is a rare type of aphasia in which a patient loses the ability to talk, or read. Write and understand words over some time. This type of aphasia results from a progressive neurological disorder.

Causes of Aphasia

The most common cause of Aphasia is “Stroke”. As a result of the stroke, the blood vessel in the brain gets ruptured or a blockage occurs. This creates a loss of blood in the brain which leads to brain cell damage. 

Brain damage can also occur because of some brain injury, a slowly progressing brain tumor, or some neurological conditions. These conditions, like dementia, damage the brain and nervous system over time.

Primary progressive aphasia is used to describe language difficulty disorder that develops over time. This occurs due to the degeneration of brain cells responsible for language networks.in some cases, this type of aphasia can lead to disorders like dementia. 

In some cases, due to migraines, seizures, or a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA), one can have a temporary episode of aphasia. TIA occurs when a certain part of the brain does not get enough blood supply due to a blockage. People with TIA are more vulnerable to having a stroke shortly.

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Risk Factors of Aphasia

Mostly older and middle-aged people are likely to get affected by this disorder. However, anyone from children to young adults can acquire it. It is most common in people aged 65 years and above as it is a result of neurological conditions and stroke which are more likely to affect older people.

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Prevention

Stroke is the known cause of aphasia, so it is not possible to prevent aphasia. However, following good lifestyle practices that reduce your risk of stroke can be a great help in preventing the problems. 

Some of the healthy lifestyle habits that reduce your chances of suffering from stroke include:

  • Consume a nutritionally balanced diet to support your brain functions
  • Ensure regular physical activity
  • Stress management
  • Abstain from smoking and alcohol consumption
  • Work on your sleep hygiene 
  • Keep your blood pressure controlled
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Diagnosis

The first signs and symptoms of Aphasia will be observed by your doctor treating you for stroke or any brain injury. 

The confirmation of this disorder is done through a series of tests and exercises. Usually, an MRI or CT Scan is done to examine the brain damage and find its precise location. A series of tests to examine the patient's ability to understand words, commands, answering questions, naming objects, and making a conversation are also conducted. 

Treatment of Aphasia | When to Consult a Doctor

The treatment of Aphasia can begin as soon as it is diagnosed. It is most effectively done through a series of therapy sessions related to communication skills. Usually, after a brain injury, as the recovery process begins, tremendous improvements in aphasia are also seen even without treatment.

Some of the factors that play a key role in determining the recovery of aphasia patient are: 

  • Age 
  • The extent of damage to brian 
  • Cause of brain injury 
  • The overall health of the patient 
  • Area of brain that is damaged 

Language therapy sessions are a great way of improving one's ability to communicate properly. Virtual pathologists are also an increasing trend among aphasia patients. Use of different speech-generating applications, gesture identification applications are also now used to help aphasia patients lead a normal life. 

What can you do as a family member of an aphasia patient?

If anyone form family or friends is suffering from this disorder, you take the following steps to understand them better and help them to converse properly: 

  • If possible, participate in their therapy sessions
  • Speak in short and simplified sentences 
  • Avoid using long and complex sentences
  • Repeat the keywords 
  • Minimize distraction 
  • Include the patient in your conversation 
  • Encourage the patient to take part in conversation through any medium (gesture, words, pointing, or drawing) 
  • Be patient and allow him/her as much as time as he/she requires 
  • Don't correct their sentences 
  • Don't speak in childish terms. Keep the conversation neutral for an adult level   

 

In case you exhibit any concerning signs and symptoms for aphasia, consult a medical professional as soon as possible.

 

Doctors to treat Aphasia

Last updated on Tuesday 29/11/2022

Doctor

Dr. Zeeshan Ali

Gastroenterologist | FCPS, MCPS, MBBS

Park Lane HospitalRs 3000

4

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97%

Satisfaction Rate

23

Years

Doctor is patient friendly and explains everything clearly.

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