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Language Impairment

more about Language Impairment


Aphasia 

  • Aphasia is an impairment of the ability to use or comprehend (and express) language (i.e. words).  Aphasia makes it difficult to speak, read, write, or understand speech, but has no effect on an individual's intelligence.  Aphasia can affect anyone of any age, race, or gender.
  • Aphasia is often the result of damage to the language areas of the brain located in the left hemisphere.  It is usually acquired as a result of a Stroke or other brain injury (e.g., cerebral tumor, head injury, etc.).
  • A type of Aphasia known as Broca's Aphasia (non-fluent Aphasia) results from damage to an area in the left frontal lobe of the brain known as the Broca's area.  Individuals with this condition are able to understand the speech of others normally, but are unable to properly form words.  Consequently, their speech is slow and slurred, and they speak in short phrases produced with great effort.
  • Another important language area in the brain is Wernicke's area, which normally communicates with Broca's area via a bundle of nerves known as the arcuate fasciculus.  When the arcuate fasciculus is damaged, it may cause a condition known as conduction Aphasia, in which patients understand language normally, but are unable to repeat words.  Their speech does not make sense.
  • People with damage to Wernicke's area specifically (i.e., Wernicke's Aphasia or fluent Aphasia) can speak clearly, but their words make no sense (i.e., "word salad").  They also may add unnecessary words or even create new ones.  They have great difficulty in understanding the speech of other people.
  • Transient Aphasia refers to a temporary condition involving problems with communication, whereas global Aphasia describes a condition in which extensive portions of the brain have been damaged, resulting in severe and permanent communication difficulties.

  • Is aimed at the underlying cause, and may involve rehabilitation by a speech therapist.




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