Definition and causes of aphasia
Aphasia is a language or communication disorder in which the part of the brain responsible for language is damaged. The damage to this part of the brain, located on the left side, can occur due to infections, stroke, sudden and massive flow of blood, tumors or trauma.
Aphasia basically means that a person cannot express his or herself properly and also has difficulties understanding, reading, writing and learning. It can affect anyone, regardless of age and sex.
This disorder is not uniform and it can manifest itself in different ways, according to the specific type.
Types of aphasia
The Wernicke aphasia is also known as receptive or fluent aphasia. In this type of aphasia, a person is able to form longer sentences, but with certain difficulties. For example, the sentence may not make sense at all, without the person being aware of it. It may be a series of random words that seem perfectly sensible to the person saying them. There is also some difficulty understanding what the others are saying. The ability to write sensible sentences deteriorates in time and the writing is also affected. Other than this, a person suffering from Wernicke aphasia usually does not exhibit physical symptoms.
Broca’s aphasia is a type of aphasia sometimes called non-fluent, motor or expressive aphasia. It results from the damage to the front part of the brain. A person suffering from this particular type of aphasia will have difficulties in forming a phrase, often omitting some parts, such as prepositions. There are also difficulties understanding some directions, like left or right. However, people who have this type of aphasia do not have difficulties understanding what the others are saying, and, unlike in Wernicke aphasia, people with Broca’s aphasia so realize that some of the things they are saying do not make sense.
Global aphasia is a severe form of aphasia, in which both fluent and non-fluent aphasia are combined together. A person completely loses the ability to talk, write or understand properly. People who have global aphasia often give up and stop talking completely. They, however, should be encouraged to continue trying, even though the things they say rarely make sense.
In anomia aphasia, also called nominal, anomic or amnesic aphasia, a person has difficulty finding the right word while trying to form a sentence, whether it is spoken or written. This type of aphasia can occur whenever there is any damage to the brain.