Aphasia is a language disorder that can affect a person’s use of language. It can have an impact on your ability to speak, understand, read and write, but not necessarily all of these. It often occurs after a stroke.
Aphasia can occur as a result of brain damage related to Alzheimer’s disease or a stroke. The difficulties that the person will face will depend on which parts of the brain are affected. Studies suggest that between 9% and 62% of people who have had a stroke have some degree of aphasia. In the past, aphasia only referred to a complete impairment in a person’s communication and language, while dysphasia was used to describe a partial impairment in language. However, due to confusion between dysphasia and dysphagia, a swallowing disorder, aphasia is now used for all degrees of disability.
Types and Symptoms
There are several types of aphasia
– Fluent aphasia or Wernicke’s aphasia: the person has difficulty understanding the meaning of spoken words, but can produce continuous speech. However, the speech can be incoherent, with irrelevant words intruding. Reading and writing can be difficult.
– Non-fluent aphasia, or Broca’s aphasia: speech production is usually short and is described as breathless and labored. Accessing words is difficult and forming sounds can be difficult. Writing may be affected, but the ability to read and understand often remains intact.
– Global aphasia: affects all aspects of language. The person may be able to say some recognizable words, but cannot understand speech or read or write.
– Anomic aphasia: the person can produce grammatically correct language, but has difficulty naming objects and words, so they can talk around the word trying to explain themselves. Listening and reading can remain intact.
The person with aphasia usually experiences marked difficulties in the use of speech and language. He may be frustrated by his inability to express himself.
However, the type of difficulty will be different depending on the type of aphasia you have. Weakness or paralysis on one or both sides of the face or body can also make speech or writing difficult. The muscles used for breathing or swallowing may be affected, affecting sound production.
Causes of Aphasia
The part of the brain that controls speech and language recognition is called the language center. These include Broca’s area and Wernicke’s area. Aphasia occurs when any of these parts of the brain or the neural pathways that connect them are damaged.
Damage can result from:
– A cerebral vascular accident
– Traumatic brain injury
– Brain tumor
– Alzheimer disease
– Parkinson’s disease
The type of aphasia depends on which part of the brain is damaged.
Global aphasia occurs when the language center is severely damaged, fluent aphasia typically results from damage to the temporal lobe or to one side of the brain, and nonfluent aphasia occurs when there is damage to the frontal lobe or from the front of the brain. brain.
Here are some basic exercises that can help assess the patient’s language skills:
– Name objects that start with a certain letter
– Read or write
– To have a conversation.
– Understand directions and orders.
A complete diagnosis will also include a computed tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to determine the location and degree of brain damage causing the aphasia.
Speech therapy is the only treatment for aphasia. Most people do not regain full use of their communication skills, but speech therapy can provide significant improvement, even in cases of global aphasia.
Speech therapy aims to achieve:
– Better use of existing language capabilities
– Improve language skills by relearning them
– the ability to communicate in a different way, compensating for missing words in speech.
Since there are different levels of aphasia and not everyone learns in the same way, speech therapy techniques vary.
Melodic Intonation Therapy (MIT)
It is mainly used to treat non-fluent aphasia. It consists of humming or singing to the rhythm, which is called melodic intonation, while repeating phrases and words with which the patient has difficulty. This process stimulates brain activity in the right hemisphere. It can help increase the number of words the patient can say.
A small group of people with aphasia meet with a therapist and communicate. This allows patients to practice and improve their language skills by interacting with a group of people in a comfortable and helpful environment.
Computerized Script Training (CST)
It is a script delivered by a computer and based on everyday conversations. It gives the patient the opportunity to practice their communication skills in real situations.
how to help
Some tips that can help people communicate with someone with aphasia.
– Having a friend to practice with can help a person with aphasia regain their speaking skills.
– Get the person’s attention before you start talking and maintain eye contact.
– Eliminate background noise
– Keep your voice at a normal volume, but speak more slowly than usual.
– Make sentences short and simple and avoid questions that require a complicated answer.
– Do not suddenly change the topic of conversation
– Do not force your interlocutor to answer and give him time to speak.
– Use Yes/No questions
– Minimize mistakes and avoid correcting them, as the person may find this frustrating.
– Participate in normal activities if possible.
– Remember that the disorder that the person suffers affects the way they communicate, their tone does not necessarily reflect their mood.
– Try to have a notebook or paper and a pen handy, as this can help you communicate.
Remember that the person’s ability to think is not necessarily affected. Talk to her like an intelligent adult, like you would before she had aphasia.
Aphasia impacts many aspects of life, from personal relationships to economic well-being, since communication is essential in everyday life. The patient may feel frustrated and anxious, and the patient’s loved ones may become impatient. Combined with other effects of stroke, aphasia can lead to depression. A person with aphasia is encouraged to attend support groups and ask someone to help them practice their communication skills. If you are at risk for depression, you should see your doctor for treatment. Before meeting with a doctor, a friend can help her rehearse what she wants to say or write down any questions she has.
Prevent stroke, prevent aphasia
The main cause of aphasia is stroke. Therefore, avoiding a stroke may reduce the risk of aphasia.
The precautions that can be taken for this purpose are as follows:
– Exercise regularly
– To eat healthy
– monitor and control blood pressure
– avoid smoking
– Maintain low alcohol consumption
– To manage stress
If a person shows signs of a stroke, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible, as this is crucial to recovery.
Signs that a person is having or about to have a stroke include:
– Blurred, blackened or double vision
– Dizziness, difficulty walking, loss of balance and coordination
– numbness, weakness or paralysis on one side of the body
– Speech disorders
– Sudden and violent headaches
These are the signs that should make you react urgently
FACE: Has the person’s face fallen to one side?
ARMS: Can she lift them?
SPEECH: Does the person have difficulty speaking?
TIME: If any of these three symptoms are present, get help right away.
Immediate help can save a person’s life and increase their chances of recovery after an attack.
Flowers H, Skoretz SA, Silver FL, Rochon E, Fang J, Flamand-Roze C, Martino R (December 2016). Post-stroke aphasia frequency, recovery, and outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
* The information and services available on pressesante.com are in no way a substitute for consultation with competent healthcare professionals.
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