Aphasia is the loss of speech ability in a person who has had no problems with it so far. In a healthy person, a problem with writing or reading may suddenly arise, and then we also deal with aphasia. Aphasia itself is not a disease entity, but a group of symptoms that are caused by brain damage. Unfortunately, it can occur suddenly or be acquired. Aphasia can take various forms, which differ in symptoms and methods of diagnosis and treatment.
The most common types of aphasia are divided in terms of speech impressions and expression, and also depending on the damage in the areas responsible for speech. Hence the division into aphasia:
- sensory (the patient hears speech but does not understand it)
- motor (the patient loses the ability to speak, “does not remember” the movement patterns accompanying speaking, there is no cooperation between the lips, tongue and the larynx; such a patient may make sounds and even utter some words, but without the proper grammatical order),
- mixed (the patient has features of sensory and motor aphasia; mixed aphasia very often occurs right after a cerebral incident, and then changes during brain regeneration, then it may turn into sensory or motor aphasia),
- global (combines the extreme features of sensory and motor aphasia, speech is completely disturbed in terms of both understanding and production; over time, like mixed aphasia, it goes towards sensory or motor aphasia),
- transcortical (a characteristic feature is the ability to repeat speech), and in addition, taking into account the number of words spoken by the patient:
- liquid aphasia (the patient is able to pronounce a sentence of more than five words and this sentence is grammatically correct),
- disfluid aphasia (the patient is unable to form a sentence of more than five words while maintaining grammatical correctness).
What can cause aphasia?
- stroke and stroke
- car accidents and sustained craniocerebral injuries,
- disease processes – brain tumors, abscesses,
- inflammatory processes – viruses, bacteria, fungi,
- poisoning with toxins.
In the case of acquired aphasia, e.g. in patients after a stroke, speech therapy is required in addition to pharmacological treatment. In most patients, it gives very good results and the patient improves the way of pronunciation or learns the words and their meaning anew. It also happens that the disorders regress spontaneously within 1-3 months of their onset, especially when they were acquired as a result of a stroke.
When suspecting aphasia in a child, early therapy with a speech therapist, who, after assessing the child’s speech and familiarizing himself with his skills, will adjust the appropriate type of learning, so that the child can begin to speak properly and communicate with others, gives a lot.