Aphasia Essay

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Teal Jenkins NEUR/ZOO 5100 Dr. Prather Spring 2014 Broca’s Aphasia • Background Aphasia is defined as the inability to communicate and is caused by damage to areas of the brain responsible for language processing [1]. Strokes are the main cause of aphasia, while tumors, blows to the head, and infections can also be the culprits. Aphasia affects the ability to comprehend and produce language, whether written or verbal. Approximately 80,000 people acquire aphasia each year, with men and women being equally affected. About 1 million people in the United States currently suffer from aphasia [9]. Recently, there have been new discoveries in the cognitive processes of language and the treatments for persons afflicted with aphasia. The link between language perception and production has been studied without conclusive results. Originally, the sensory and motor aspects of speech processing were thought to occur in different portions of the cerebral cortex. Afferent processing was proposed to take place in Wernicke’s area: the left posterior portion of the superior temporal gyrus, also known as Brodmann’s area 22. Damage to this area of the brain is known as Wernicke’s aphasia or fluent aphasia, where patients have the ability to produce language but have grave difficulties understanding it. Efferent processing was thought to occur in the Broca’s area: the left inferior frontal gyrus, corresponding to Brodmann’s areas 44 and 45. In 1861, surgeon Paul Broca had two patients who had lost their ability to speak. Upon examining the brains, Broca concluded that the damaged part of the left hemisphere was responsible for speech production. This is now known as Broca’s area. Broca’s aphasia, also known as expressive aphasia or non-fluent ap... ... middle of paper ... ...Copy and Recal Treatment for handwriting and typing on a cell phone. Improvements in spelling and spoken naming were seen in both modalities. Combined treatment in written and cell phone typing could be used as therapy for aphasic patients. Text messaging may be the easiest means of communication for those with Broca’s aphasia. Further research on understanding the neuro-anatomy and functional organization of speech processing is needed surrounding Broca’s aphasia. Without a full grasp of the structures involved, it is hard to treat patients with speech disorders. For now, consistent treatment and time is the best outlook for people with this rare disorder. With therapy and practice aphasics can increase their speech output [11]. After a stroke someone with Broca’s aphasia may lose their ability to communicate, however this does not have to be a permanent loss.

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