What are the causes of aphasia?
Aphasia is an impairment of language, affecting the production or comprehension of speech and the ability to read or write. The causes of aphasia are a damage or injury to language parts of the brain due to a stroke, head trauma, brain tumors, degenerative brain diseases or infections.
Depending on the location of the impaired brain area different types of aphasia emerge. The most common are as follows:
Nonfluent or Broca aphasia: the language network is affected in the left frontal area (Broca area). A person understands what other people say but struggles to get words out, speaks in very short sentences and omits words. A person might say "Want food" or "Walk park today." A listener can usually understand the meaning.
Fluent or Wernike aphasia: the middle left side of the brain (Wernike area) is affected. A person speaks easily and fluently in long, complex sentences that don't make sense or include unrecognizable, incorrect or unnecessary words. People with this type of aphasia usually don't understand spoken language well and often don't realize that others can't understand them.
Global aphasia: major damage to the front and back of the left side of the brain. A person has severe difficulties with expression and comprehension.
There are many other combinations of deficits, for example a person may be able to write but not to read.
Most people need many hours of speech and language therapy to recover to their full potential.