Aphasia

If the language parts of the brain are damaged, there will be issues in communicating with others. This condition is observed in old people and people who suffered a stroke. The condition will interfere with the person’s ability to utilize or understand words. However, there will not be an impairment of intelligence. There will be difficulty in finding the most appropriate words for communication. It will comprise their ability in reading, writing words and numbers.

There are different kinds of aphasia. The loss of ability to communicate should be diagnosed and corrected very quickly.  The physician will figure out the type of aphasia after the diagnosis and the most appropriate kind of treatment will be suggested. The patient should be supported by a group so that an encouraging atmosphere can be generated in the best possible way. There will be a difference in difficulty level and it varies with the type of aphasia. The doctors will assess the brain damage after conducting various kinds of tests. There are non-invasive tests as well as invasive tests which will help in tracing the issue.

Causes of Aphasia

-  If a person suffers a stroke, he may be affected by Aphasia. If a person survives the stroke, the possibility of getting affected by Aphasia will be in between 25% and 40%.

-  There will be injury or damage to the brain which process the language-related matters.

-  Brain tumour, brain infection and other kinds of diseases such as Alzheimer’s will also lead to Aphasia.

- Some people will find it difficult to understand the conversation of others. The issue will surface by being exposed to the loud environment or by being surrounded by a crowd. It may appear in the tired state as well.

-  The damage to the brain may take place through the stroke, brain injury, epilepsy, migraine, brain tumour, and Parkinson’s disease.

-  The part of brain damaged by aphasia will be found through the tests. In most of the cases, there will be great damage to the language centre in the brain.

-   If a patient is suffering from a stroke, the speech evaluation should be done at the earliest. The change in the patient’s language skills will be noticed and steps are taken to deliver the best results.

Symptoms of Aphasia

-  Aphasia has symptoms of epilepsy or other kinds of neurological disorders.

-  There are different types of Aphasia.

-  There will be mild to severe symptoms with each type of Aphasia.

-  The common forms of Aphasia are listed below:

-   Expressive aphasia

-  Receptive aphasia

-  Anomic aphasia

- Global aphasia

-  Primary progressive aphasia

-  Expressive aphasia – It is a non-fluent type of aphasia. Even though the person knows what he wants to communicate with others, he fails to communicate. The person may fail to say or write his intentions or expressions.

-  Receptive aphasia – There will not be any issues with the receptive aphasia. A person has no difficulty in reading or writing. However, there will be issues in understanding the message conveyed by others. As they fail to understand their own language, there will be difficulty in comprehending their speech.

-  Anomic aphasia – there will be difficulty in finding the most appropriate words for communication. This condition is called anomia. There will be difficulty in writing and speak the right words.

-  Global aphasia – This kind of aphasia can be considered as a severe type of aphasia. The condition will arise right after the stroke. There will be difficulty in speaking and understanding the words. The person will fail to read or write as well.

-  Primary progressive aphasia – It is a rare disorder by which the people will lose the ability to read, write or comprehend a conversation. The loss will take place over a period of time. If aphasia is associated with a stroke, it will improve with the therapy. However, there is no treatment for the condition. They will be able to communicate through means other than speech. The speech therapy and medication will have a positive impact on the condition.

-  A person affected with aphasia will find it difficult to use appropriate words while speaking. He or she can use strange words during the conversation. There will be trouble in speaking as well.

-  As soon as you witness the symptoms of aphasia, the medical attention should be taken as per the severity of signs and symptoms.

-  Through medication and lifestyle changes, necessary changes can be accomplished in the best possible way.

-   There are certain basic exercises which will also enhance the language skills in the patient.

Diagnosis of Aphasia

-  The speech-language pathologist will conduct an evaluation to diagnose the aphasia.

-  The patient’s language skills will be assessed by conducting tests.

-  The patient will be asked to name objects that begin with a certain letter

-  The patient will undergo reading and writing test

-  The language skills of the patient will be assessed by asking him/her for conversation

-  The patient should understand the directions and commands.

-  There are various kinds of exercises through which the patient’s language skills will be assessed.

- The location and degree of brain damage will be figured out by MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and Computerized Tomography (CT).

Treatment of Aphasia

-  The treatment for aphasia will be based on the age, cause of the brain injury, type of aphasia and position & size of the brain lesion.

-  If a person is affected by a tumour in the brain, the surgery will be the option.

-  If the person is affected by aphasia due to stroke, he should consult the speech-language pathologist. There will be benefits by having few sessions with the pathologist. The ability to speak and communicate with others will be improved by undergoing the treatment from the therapist.

-  It is possible to figure out ways to communicate with others without speaking. Body language and gestures can be used along with the words to improve the presentation. In this process, the language barrier will be overcome.

-   The speech and language therapy is the most common treatment for aphasia. Even though it is not possible to regain complete communication skills after the therapy, there will be a great improvement after the therapy.

-  After implementing the speech therapy, there will be a betterment in the usage of language skills. As you relearn, there will be an improvement in language skills.

-  Patients will be able to communicate in a better way after undergoing the treatment. It is possible to make up the missing words.

-  Different kinds of techniques will be implemented by the speech therapy specialist as people suffer from various types of aphasia. The learning curve varies from one person to another person.

-  Melodic Intonation Therapy (MIT) is used to treat non-fluent aphasia. By using the humming and singing of rhythm, the patient will not struggle anymore in communicating with others. The brain activity in the right sphere will be stimulated with the therapy. In this process, it is possible to a number of words a patient can say.

-   People suffering from aphasia can form a group and they can undergo a group therapy. In this process, the patient will witness improvement in language skills as there will be interaction with other group members. Patients will be able to interact with others very easily in an interactive and friendly environment.

-  Promoting Aphasic's Communicative Effectiveness (PACE) is a therapy intended to improve communication skills through the engagement of conversation. A patient will go through a picture or drawing and they will want to respond in a natural way. There will be a simple conversation and it will reach a complex level in a systematic way.

-  Computerized Script Training (CST) is intended to improve the skill through the day-to-day conversation. The patient will get an opportunity to practice communication skills and it will be done by being exposed to realistic situations.

Prevention of Aphasia

-  By following the tips offered by experts, it is possible to improve the communication abilities. A person can use props to communicate the message effectively.

-   You can draw words or pictures on a piece of paper so that there will not be difficulty in communicating with others.

-   The person should speak slowly and calm composure should be maintained while talking.

-   By carrying a card, you can convey a message that you are suffering from Aphasia. You will get better cooperation from others.

-   If someone is suffering from aphasia, the person should support from others. The person should talk to an older person so that there will be a great improvement in confidence levels.

-   The person who is helping the patient should maintain the eye contact while speaking to the person. The background noise should be eliminated. Your voice should be at a low level and should speak slowly.

-   By speaking short sentences, the patient will get a chance to understand and questions that need complicated answers can be avoided. The subject of conversation should not be changed quickly.

-   The patient should be exposed to Yes/No questions (closed answer questions). While encouraging the speech improvement of the patients, the correction of errors and grammatical mistakes should be avoided as it will discourage them.

-   The patients should be engaged in normal activities so that there will be a great improvement in the skill.

-   You should take steps to avoid a stroke. The steps that should be taken in this direction include regular exercise, healthy eating habits, monitoring and controlling of blood pressure, avoiding the use of tobacco and maintaining a low level of alcohol.

-    The stress management will also play a crucial role in avoiding the stroke.

-   If someone shows signs of stress, immediate medical attention is required. The symptoms of stroke include double vision, blurred vision, dizziness, loss of balance and coordination, numbness, paralysis on one side of the body and sudden severe headache.

-    There will be a chance of recovery by taking timely action and it is possible to save the life as well.

Complications of Aphasia

Aphasia will impact various aspects of your life. It will have an impact on your personal relationships and economic wellbeing. The communication is crucial and it will have a far-reaching impact on your relationships. To live a meaningful and purposeful life, you should want to communicate with others in a very efficient manner.

The patient will go through great frustration as he/she fails to communicate with others in a normal way. There are chances that their loved ones may become impatient. The caretakers should have the highest level of patience. The caretakers should follow the instructions and advice offered by the speech therapists so that there will be drastic changes in the patient in the shortest possible time.

Aphasia will also lead to depression. Hence, a person affected by aphasia should be included in support groups. There should be help from someone to support his/her communication skills. If the depression increases further, the patient should consult the physician.

Myths About Aphasia

Myth #1: Aphasia affects thinking skills

Aphasia will not affect thinking skills. However, there may be difficulty in understanding the written material or handwriting. Some people will find it difficult in using numbers or performing simple calculations.

Myth #2: Aphasia can be controlled with medication

There will be little help through the medication. The physician should figure out the main cause of the condition. After the diagnosis, the patient should be subjected to speech therapy. The patient should be surrounded by a support group and encouraging family members so that there will be a great change in the condition of the patient.

Conclusion

Your ability to communicate will be destroyed when you are affected by Aphasia. It will have a negative impact on your reading, writing and presentation skills. Aphasia may take place after a head injury or stroke. However, it may take place gradually and there may be permanent damage to the brain. After determining the degree of disability, the most appropriate treatment will be offered to the patient. By undergoing the speech and language therapy, there will be a great improvement in the patient.

Last updated on : 14-09-2018

Disclaimer : Docprime doesn’t endorse or take any guarantee of the accuracy or completeness of information provided under this article and these are the views strictly of the writer. Docprime shall not be held responsible for any aspect of healthcare services administered with the information provided on this article.

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