Global aphasia is one of the most common types of aphasia which mainly affects the language domain of the brain. Due to this, these patients have troubles in delivering speech. This HealthHearty article discusses this condition in a more elaborate manner.
When one suffers from a condition such as global aphasia, it is not that he/she has become dumb or has lost intelligence. It is just that they cannot express how intelligent they are.
Global aphasia is one of the many types of aphasia, which is caused due to a widespread damage in the left hemisphere of the brain that consists of the language areas. People with this condition tend to have impaired language functions, both in the areas of expression and comprehension. However, an interesting thing to be noted is that these patients have fine cognitive skills, it is only the language skills that are affected.
Causes and Symptoms
The main cause of this disorder is an injury on the Broca’s and Wernicke’s area of the brain, which are responsible for language processing. Many times, the damage may extend to further areas as well, which can make the condition more severe. A major stroke, usually in the middle cerebral artery, can also result in global aphasia. The symptoms are mentioned below.
- Impairment in word-based communication (reading, writing, spellings, speaking, etc.)
- Speaking words that are not recognizable
- Unable to comprehend a conversation
- Writing words or sentences that don’t make proper sense
- Formation of short and incomplete words and sentences
As mentioned earlier, injury in the left cerebral hemisphere causes this condition. The injury could be the result of a stroke, tumor, or even dementia. Therefore, the prognosis depends upon the exact cause. Apart from that, the treatment also depends upon the age of the person and the condition of the remaining brain. So far there are no surgical procedures to cure the injury. However, there are many therapies which can help the patient recover from the condition, or at least help him/her cope in the best way possible. Mentioned below are some therapies that will help the patient retain the language skills that he/she still has, and adapt other means to compensate for the language abilities that are lost.
Speech Language Therapy
This therapy, when conducted by a speech pathologist, will enable the patient to practice and perform certain useful exercises based on communication and comprehension. The exercises involved are: Reading, writing, repeating again and again what the patient hears, and following certain directions which can help him/her communicate easily with the other person.
A computer-based therapy is considered to be quite effective. It enables the patient to relearn certain words and sentences and restore the lost language or word-based abilities with constant practice and listening.
Group therapy helps the patient adapt to alternative communication skills and gives him/her an opportunity to interact with others in the group within a comfortable environment. It helps the patient overcome loneliness and depression by getting a chance to interact with more people.
Unlike group therapy, an individual therapy focuses more on the individual needs and is therefore helpful in giving necessary aid to help the patient overcome or adapt with the individual language skills that are lost due to the condition.
Apart from the therapies mentioned above, there are also many support groups that are formed by people who have dealt with this condition. When it comes to treatment, involvement of the family also plays a vital role. These patients are not retarded, they have just lost their ability to communicate. The love and care of family members can help the patient recover within the first six months or a year. The constant love and support is all that is required, the absence of which may cause further depression, resulting in further complications including difficulty in coordination of facial movements, paralysis, and even difficulty in regulating their emotions.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is meant for informational purposes only and should not be considered as a replacement for expert medical advice.