Aphasia is a communication disorder. Impairments with aphasia may include problems with the expression and/or understanding of language, as well as reading and writing. If you suspect you have this condition, contact your doctor.
Aphasia is caused by an injury to parts of the brain that are involved with language. The injury may be the result of:
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The following factor increases your chances of developing aphasia. If you have this risk factor, tell your doctor:
Aphasia is a symptom of an underlying problem. It may include:
If you have any of these problems, do not assume it is aphasia. However, if you are having these problems, see your doctor.
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
If you have a brain condition, you are probably already seeing a doctor that specializes in the nervous system. This doctor will most likely be able to recognize your aphasia. Some simple tests may be done. For example, the doctor may ask you to follow commands, answer questions, name objects, and have a conversation. You may then be referred to a speech-language pathologist. This doctor will perform additional tests to assess your speech and language skills.
Overall tests may include the following:
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment will focus on:
Options for treating aphasia itself include:
A speech-language specialist will help you:
This therapy may take place in both individual and group settings.
A speech-language therapist will help you and your family learn how to best communicate with each other.
Psychological evaluation may also be helpful.
The most common cause of aphasia is stroke. To help reduce your chances of a stroke:
Brain Injury Association of America
National Aphasia Association
York-Durham Aphasia Centre
Aphasia. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association website. Available at: http://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/Aphasia_info.htm. . Accessed September 4, 2012.
Aphasia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated September 2, 2012. Accessed September 4, 2012.
Aphasia. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders website. Available at: http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/voice/pages/aphasia.aspx . Accessed September 4, 2012.
Last reviewed October 2012 by Rimas Lukas, MD
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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