Aphasia Disorder

Aphasia Disorder 101: What We Need to Know and How to Cure It

According to a study conducted by NINDS, there is approximately one in 272 or 0.37% (equivalent to 1 million people in the USA) who are suffering from Aphasia today. The statistics is indeed alarming. The more that there is a need for more researches and scientific investigations to augment the public’s knowledge about aphasia, have the experts find better cure, and invest new technologies to bring back the lost functions of people inflicted with aphasia.

It is crucial to understand what aphasia is and how people having the said disorder multiply in number.

Aphasia is a neurological disorder resulting from the damage to the parts of the brain that are accountable for verbal communication. Major signs of aphasia include intricacy in expressing oneself when talking, difficulty in perceptive speech, and trouble with reading and writing. Aphasia is not a malady, but an indication of a brain injury. Most frequently seen in adults who have suffered a stroke, aphasia can be a cause of brain tumor, disease, head damage, or dementia that damages the brain. As there are approximately one million people in the US who have the said disorder, the form and sternness of language dysfunction depends on the specific position and degree of the damaged brain tissue.

The Symptoms

There is a considerable number of people reported with aphasia to have problem using sentences and words and this is called the “expressive aphasia”. Others have the so-called “receptive aphasia” or those who have difficulty understanding others. While there are other aphasia victims who are struggling with both understanding and words or the so-called “global aphasia”. Aphasia disorder causes those impaired with such to have issues with the way they understand and talk and the way they write and read. The most common cases of aphasia result to problem with reading and writing as compared talking and understanding. As aphasia disorder can go from mild to severe, the extent of the damage in the brain results to how severe the communication difficulties would be as well.

Those who have mild aphasia are still able to carry on ordinary conversations in many aspects but may have difficulty discerning language when it becomes long or complex. Anomia (problem in expressing an idea or elucidating words or phrases) or trouble with grasping for words to use can also be observed with those who have mild aphasia. While people with severe aphasia totally may not comprehend anything that is he is being told about, is only capable of saying a little or nothing at all, and most of the time can only say “yes”, “no”, “thanks”.

The Diagnosis

Speech and Language Therapists or the Speech –Language Pathologists hand-in-hand coordinate with the family of the person inflicted with aphasia, along with other specialists in the medical field to help a person be cured from the disorder. In assessing the degree of the damage in the brain, SLPs

The speech-language pathologist (SLP) works collaboratively with the person’s family and other professionals (doctors, nurses, neuropsychologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, social workers) to address all of the person’s needs. For example, a person who has had a stroke often has physical problems, such as weakness on one side of the body, that require treatment from a physical or occupational therapist.

The SLP evaluates the individual and determines the type and severity of aphasia. The evaluation is done by assessing the following areas of communication: speech, understanding, expressing, social communication, reading and writing, and other symptoms such as swallowing and even the ability to use an “augmentative or alternative communication aid”.

The Cure

Therapies of the Rockies in Denver/Aurora, Lakewood, and Colorado Springs provide systematic drills and exercises for aphasia patients to enhance certain language skills distressed with such brain damage. Aphasia treatment varies depending on the needs of the person with the disorder. Patients are encouraged to make use of their skills where they are stronger and help them capitalize on those stronger skills to eventually enhance other communication skills where they are grappling with. Group sessions with other aphasia patients is also one strategy that would help address the problem. And using today’s technology, there are already computer-aided therapy that helps in developing standard language therapy.

It is not too late to help a person with aphasia. Seek the assistance of an expert speech and language therapist now!