Understanding Aphasia

explanatory Essay
1063 words
1063 words

Aphasia is an acquired language communication disorder which is a result of localised damage to a part of the brain that is responsible for language. It usually occurs suddenly due to a stroke or head injury, but it can also develop slowly due to brain tumours, infection or dementia. Aphasia is an impairment of any language modality, for example, processing language by reading, writing, comprehension or expression. This may include difficulty in producing or understanding spoken or written language. This disorder does not affect general intellectual functioning; a person with aphasia can still carry out non-linguistic tasks. Aphasia can also occur with other speech disorders such as dysarthria or apraxia of speech, which is also a result from brain damage. This disorder affects about one million people or 1 in 250 people in America. It is more common than Parkinson’s disease or cerebral palsy however it is still not very well known. Most people that have aphasia have largely problems with receptive language. Language is not just orally impaired, but also skills such as reading and writing are as well. Normally, reading and writing are more affected than oral communication. But obviously everyone is different, so the severity of this disorder can differ too. This all depends on many factors, but most importantly the amount and location of damage to the brain.

Aphasia is usually recognized by the physician who treats the person for their brain injury. The physician performs tests that involve the patient to follow commands, answer questions, name objects, and carry on a conversation. If the physician suspects aphasia, the patient is then referred to a speech-language pathologist, who performs a comprehensive examination of the per...

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... month after the brain injury, some amount of aphasia usually remains. In these cases, speech-language therapy is very helpful. Recovery usually continues over a two-year period. It is believed by many health professionals that the most effective treatment begins early in the recovery process. Some of the factors that influence the amount of improvement include the cause of the brain damage, the area of the brain that was damaged, the extent of the brain injury, and the age and health of the individual.

Works Cited

Fromkin, V., R. Rodman & N. Hyams (2007) An Introduction to Language (International Edition, 9th Edition) Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

(7/6/2009) ‘Aphasia’ Retrieved 07/04/2011 from:

(23/02/2011) ‘Aphasia’ Retrieved 07/04/2011 from:

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that aphasia is an acquired language communication disorder that affects about one million people or 1 in 250 people in america.
  • Explains that wernicke's aphasia is related to anomia, which is an impairment of word retrieval from the lexicon.
  • Explains that non-fluent aphasia has damage to the frontal lobe of the brain, which is important for motor movements.
  • Describes the contents of fromkin, rodman, and hyams' an introduction to language, wadsworth cengage learning.
  • Explains that aphasia is usually recognized by the physician who treats the person for their brain injury.
  • Explains that aphasia recovers completely without treatment following stroke, but language retrieval is not as quick or complete.
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