Understanding Aphasia During National Aphasia Awareness Month

Elderly man lost in thought

Aphasia is a unique neurological condition that results when the portions of the brain that govern language suffer damage, resulting in various impairments with reading, writing, and speech comprehension. According to the NIDCD, approximately one million Americans are afflicted with this condition. Read on to learn more about this unique condition.

Common Causes of Aphasia
Aphasia can occur as a result of a serious head injury or progressive illness, but it is most commonly caused by stroke. In fact, stroke is the leading cause of adult disability and the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. According to the National Aphasia Association, strokes cause about 80,000 new cases of aphasia every year.

How Aphasia Affects the Brain
Aphasia varies significantly between individuals, but two common types of aphasia are Wernicke’s aphasia and Broca’s aphasia. Wernicke’s aphasia does not affect motor control, but it can cause victims to speak in long sentences with unnecessary or made-up words; however, the afflicted individual is often not aware of these mistakes and can have difficulty comprehending others. Broca’s aphasia can cause individuals to speak in broken sentences and is often accompanied by right-sided weakness or paralysis. However, it usually does not significantly impede a victim’s ability to understand others.

Living With Aphasia
The medical community is constantly revealing new information about how the brain works, but there is currently no medication or surgery that can completely cure aphasia. Rehabilitative stroke treatment and speech therapy can restore partial or full speech and motor functions over time in some cases, depending on the extent and type of brain injury.

Receiving immediate emergency care for a stroke is the best method for preventing long-term brain damage. As a Joint Commission Certified Primary Stroke Center, the team here at MountainView Hospital have the resources to provide superior stroke care and rehabilitative treatments .

We also offer a Stroke Support Group the first Tuesday of every month, from 2 to 3 p.m. Just follow the link to learn more about our credentials or contact our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (702) 233-5474 for more information.

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