Aphasia symptoms can vary from mild symptoms of being able to speak some illegible sentences to severe ones where the person cannot comprehend spoken or written language. Aphasia can affect anybody and is the result of trauma or damage caused to the language centers of the brain. Read on to know more.
Aphasia is a language or communication disorder, caused due to damage to certain parts of the brain, responsible for speech, language interpretation and communication. Strokes, infection, traumatic injury or tumors can conduce to damage of these speech parts of the brain situated mostly in the left hemisphere of the brain. The pathways for language comprehension or speech production get hampered and the person faces difficulty in speech, reading, understanding spoken language, writing and recording events. They also find it difficult to remember the names of objects, their meaning and description and are also unable to repeat what they just said.
This complex acquired neurological disorder can be temporary or permanent in nature, thereby resulting in the partial or complete loss of communication ability by speech or written form. The nature and severity of aphasia depends on the extent of damage caused to the brain. Depending on the damage, the symptoms of aphasia can be mild, moderate or severe.
Fluent Aphasia (Wernicke Aphasia) Symptoms
This form of aphasia is caused due to damage to the middle left region of the brain, where the language network exists. It is called fluent aphasia because people suffering from this form of speech disorder have the ability to speak long, complex sentences fluently, however, these sentences often make no logical sense and are strings of inappropriately used or unrecognizable words. They cannot completely understand what others are saying and fail to see that others cannot understand what they are trying to say.
Nonfluent Aphasia (Broca aphasia) Symptoms
When the language network near the left frontal region of the brain is injured or traumatized, nonfluent aphasia is wreaked. Unlike fluent aphasia patients, these people cannot form long sentences. They talk in very short, incomplete sentences and put in lots of effort to get some words out in the first place. The person may at the most say, ‘Watch cartoon today’ or ‘Eat bread now’ to express their wishes. They understand to some extent what others are trying to tell them and are even aware of their disability. This depresses them. The symptoms in this case may also extend to weakness or paralysis.
Global Aphasia Symptoms
This is the most severe form of aphasia wherein people affected are unable to comprehend spoken or written language. They are also unable to express themselves and cannot read or write. This severe form is caused by extensive damage to the brain parts responsible for speech and language comprehension. Usually a stroke is seen to cause such kind of extensive damage.
If aphasia has been caused by a stroke, it can be improved via speech therapy, however, the progressive form can be quite sad. In the progressive form of aphasia, the affected person loses his or her ability to communicate over a period of time and cannot be reversed. Primary progressive symptoms comprise inability to talk, read, write and comprehend facts of a conversation over a period of time. However, they can communicate in ways other than speech, that is via gestures.
People exhibiting aphasia symptoms may not be able to communicate, however, they are not to be looked upon as people with reduced intelligence or people with learning disability. A large number of people with aphasia can think rationally for themselves, but, are unable to express their thoughts explicitly. The inability to express themselves results in bottling up of a lot of frustration. Thus, such people need to be showered with a lot of love and encouragement. We need to be patient with them and allow them to find security in their surroundings and in their relationships. Via therapy you can help the person learn other forms of communication, which will help improve the ability to communicate.