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Aphasia is a condition caused by damage to certain areas of the brain that are involved in the processing of language. Damage to brain regions that control the ability to speak, write, understand and read may be affected. An individuals with aphasia may therefore have difficulty understanding instructions or making sense of what someone is saying during conversation, for example.
Common causes of aphasia are stroke and severe head injury, which give rise to sudden and severe symptoms. In the case of other causes such as a brain tumor, aphasia symptoms may take a longer time to develop. This gradual onset of the symptoms is also seen in people with progressive neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.
The symptoms of aphasia vary depending on which form of the condition as person has. Some examples of the symptoms seen with different types of aphasia include:
This is a severe form of aphasia caused by extensive damage to different language networks in the brain. All modes of communication may be affected including reading, writing, speaking and comprehending speech. Individuals may be mute or use repetitive vocalization of simple words such as expletives.
This is a form of frontotemporal degeneration. Symptoms worsen gradually, with individuals eventually becoming mute and unable to comprehend written or spoken language.