What Is Aphasia?

Aphasia is a speech impairment caused by an abnormality in the brain. Generally sufferers of this condition are often mistaken in choosing, stringing and interpreting the words into a correct sentence. In addition, aphasia can also affect writing skills.

Causes of Aphasia
Injury and damage in the language processing part of the brain is a major cause of aphasia. This disease generally attacks adults with stroke. Studies show that as many as 25-40 percent of stroke patients who recover continue to suffer from aphasia. In certain cases, aphasia is a symptom of epilepsy or a neurological disorder. Injury or damage to the brain that causes aphasia can be triggered by a number of conditions, including:
  • Brain tumor .
  • Infection that affects brain function, eg encephalitis or meningitis .
  • Severe head injury, for example from falling from a height or a traffic accident.
  • Diseases that cause brain cells to regress, such as dementia and Parkinson's disease.
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Symptoms of Aphasia
Based on the symptoms experienced by the sufferer, aphasia can be divided into several types, including:
  • Receptive aphasia. In this type, the sufferer will find it difficult to understand what the other person is saying even though he can hear it clearly. As a result, the communication response from the sufferer will be chaotic and difficult to understand.
  • Aphasia expressive. In this type, the sufferer knows what he wants to say to the other person, but he has difficulty in expressing it.
  • Primary progressive aphasia. This condition causes a decrease in the ability to read, write, talk, and understand conversations over time. Primary progressive aphasia is quite difficult to handle. However, this condition is rare.
  • Anomic anasia. The discovery of the word becomes more difficult for anomic aphasic sufferers. This condition is generally termed anomia. Anomic aphasic sufferers have difficulty in choosing and finding the right words when writing and speaking.
  • Global aphasia. This condition is classified as the most severe aphasia and usually occurs when a person has just had a stroke. Global aphasia sufferers are unable to read, write, and have difficulty understanding other people's conversations.
In the most common case, aphasia gradually can cause anxiety disorders, depression, and feelings of isolation in the sufferer.

Diagnosis of Aphasia
An examination of the severity of aphasia will usually be done by a doctor or speech therapist and language. The series of examinations aims to derive results from the patient's efforts in writing, reading, hearing comprehension, functional communication, and verbal expression.
  • Assessment communicates. This test can be done simply, for example by mentioning objects that are in the room and ask the name of family or relatives that start from a particular letter.
  • Brain image observation. Observation aims to see how severe the damage that occurs in the brain. Commonly used devices are magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), CT scan, and in some cases using positron emission tomography.

Treatment of Aphasia
Treatment of aphasia depends on factors such as the type of aphasia, age, cause, and size and position of abnormalities in the brain. Patients with aphasia who have a stroke are advised to follow speech therapy sessions from related experts. This routine therapy session aims to improve the ability to communicate and speak to aphasic sufferers. In the therapy sessions, the patient will also be taught how to communicate that should not involve conversation. If you have a relative or friend suffering from aphasia, here are some tips you can do in communicating with them:
  • Get the attention of aphasic sufferers before you start communicating.
  • Speaking is not too loud, simple, and slow.
  • Use props in messaging.
  • Write or picture messages to be conveyed on a piece of paper. Keep eye contact and watch for body language and use of gestures of aphasic sufferers.
  • Use simple questions with "yes" or "no" answers instead of long, long-winded questions.
  • Give enough talk time for aphasia sufferers.
  • Encourage and avoid overprotection of aphasia sufferers.
  • Give praise when the aphasia has tried to talk.
  • Do the things above in daily activities, when and where.
In addition to therapy, doctors will also usually prescribe drugs as a combination in handling aphasia. Examples are bifemelane, bromocripitine , idebenone, piracetam , or piribedil .

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