Aphasia is a neurological disorder that affects your ability to speak. As your La Jolla audiologist explains it there are three main types: nonfluent, fluent and global. Those suffering from nonfluent aphasia find it hard to get words out, speaking in very short choppy sentences and often leaving out words. While they can understand what others are saying, it is hard for them to get their response out. As you would imagine, this can lead to a lot of frustration.
Those suffering from fluent aphasia can speak easily but the words they are saying do not make sense. They typically do not understand what others are saying.
Global aphasia is caused by extensive damage to the brain; those with this type of aphasia can usually only produce a few words and can understand little or no spoken words.
Causes of Aphasia
The most common cause of sudden onset aphasia is brain damage from a stroke. Severe head trauma, a tumor or an infection in the brain are also possible causes.
On the other hand, primary progressive aphasia can develop gradually. This is due to the slow degeneration of brain cells. This type of aphasia will often develop into generalized dementia.
Migraines or seizure can produce temporary periods of aphasia.
How is Aphasia Diagnosed?
Your La Jolla doctor will first complete a physical and neurological exam. After that, an imaging test as well as a test of your language skills will be performed.
Mild forms of aphasia often go away on their own. For others, they will require language and speech therapy; speech therapy is most effective when started soon after the brain injury.
Many individuals with aphasia find working in therapy groups more effective than working alone, as participants can practice their language skills in a safe place. Medications that improve blood flow to the brain have been shown in small studies to have some promise.
For more information on this condition, contact your La Jolla doctor today.