*Aphasia facts medical author: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
- Aphasia, a disturbance in the formulation and comprehension of language, is due to damage to brain tissue areas responsible for language; aphasia may occur suddenly or develop over time, depending on the type and location of brain tissue damage.
- Strokes are a common cause of aphasia (about 80,000 new strokes are diagnosed per year).
- Causes of aphasia are mainly due to strokes, severe head trauma, brain tumors, and brain infections; however, any brain tissue damage for whatever reason that occurs in the language centers of the brain may cause aphasia.
- Two broad categories of aphasia are fluent and non-fluent (also termed Broca's aphasia), but there are subtypes of these categories.
- Aphasia, especially a subtype, is diagnosed by tests given to people to determine the individual's ability to communicate and understand, using language skills; neurologists most frequently diagnose the type of aphasia.
- Aphasia is mainly treated by speech and language therapy and therapy methods are based on the extent and locale of the brain damage.
- Aphasia research is ongoing; studies include revealing underlying problems of brain tissue damage, the links between comprehension and expression, rehabilitation methods, drug therapy, speech therapy, and other ways to understand and treat aspects of aphasia.
Next: What is aphasia?
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