Types of Aphasia

Aphasia is a neurological disease usually caused by the obstruction of arteries that reach the patient’s left hemisphere of the brain, causing damage to the abilities and cognitive functions it controls. In particular, it alters linguistic abilities such as comprehension, reading, facial and written expressions and speech. Aphasia is actually notorious for altering speech patterns. This pathology is also closely related to hemiparesis or paralysis of one side of the body. The left hemisphere of the brain controls the right side of the body, and the right hemisphere of the brain controls the left side of the body because neuro pathways are crossed, scientists have yet to figure out why the human body has been wired to be controlled from opposing brain hemispheres.

Some causes that might trigger aphasia are:

– Stroke.

– Cranioencephalic trauma.

– Tumors that affect the central nervous system.

– Infections

– Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.

We can appreciate differentiate between types of aphasia depending on their characteristics and severity.

Global aphasia

In this type of aphasia, the ability to speak of the patient is seriously affected. Furthermore, the subject is not able to read or write normally and cannot understand everyday language either.

Broca’s aphasia

Also known as major motor aphasia. Patients have difficulties in understanding language and writing. Agrammatism or inability to complete sentences with an appropriate structure is also usually present. Sometimes the patient may have sensory and motor problems on the right side of the body.

Despite the patient presenting serious alterations, they are usually able to improve their capabilities. However, the subject cannot return to the initial skills he/she had before the injury. It’s recommended to start therapy as soon as possible to achieve the best effectiveness.

Motor Transcortical Aphasia

It presents symptoms similar to Broca’s aphasia but, the language has not changed and the patient is able to articulate sentences normally. However, the biggest problem lies in spontaneity within the production of discourse or conversation.

Conduction Aphasia

Also known as associative aphasia. Although the understanding of language is not usually affected, speech fluency issues may appear. The subject usually communicates through short and broken sentences due to problems in the selection and pronunciation of words.

Amnesic or Anomic Aphasia

In this aphasia type the patient’s capacities are relatively intact but there is difficulty in finding the exact or desired words to designate objects, places, etc.

Wernicke’s Aphasia or Sensory Aphasia

The patient can speak fluently, unlike other aphasias such as Broca’s. However, the compression of speech patterns, writing and reading are severely affected. This is because the subjects include new words, also called neologisms which are invented grammatical structures. They have their own jargon even if they are able to formulate relatively complicated or long sentences.

Aphasia of Wernicke

Paraphasia (substitution of phonemes or words) appears frequently and the patient is not aware of it. Neither partial or total paralysis exists in either side of the body, so people with this condition can usually write normally although the content is incomprehensible.

In the majority of cases, aphasia is a severe pathology that should be treated as soon as possible. It is necessary to carry out a full study and examination. Sometimes, it is necessary to provide psychological therapy, not only of the patient but also of the relatives since the person’s ability to communicate is affected. For all these reasons, it is recommended to go to visit your specialist.

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