Aphasia in brief: Summary on aphasia

Summary on aphasia

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Aphasia Aphasia: language deficiency, usually due to cerebral pathologies. Aphasia identifies an alteration in the ability to understand and use both words and verbal expressions
Aphasia: incidence 150, 000 patients with aphasia in Italy

Affects 40% of stroke patients in the left hemisphere

20, 000 new cases every year

Aphasia: etymologies and meaning of the term Literal translation : aphasia derives from the Greek ἀφασία, meaning mutism

Meaning : an aphasic patient is not always "one who does not speak", but also "one who speaks, without the ability to communicate"

Aphasia: general description Aphasia affects multiple aspects of communication:
  • word production
  • structuring of words
  • understanding of language
  • repetition of words
  • ability to repeat a word or phrase
  • ability to express a concept, to speak or to write
Aphasia: causes
  • Stroke (stroke)
  • Head trauma
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • cerebrovascular
  • Vascular injury
  • Hemorrhage or ischemia
  • Transient ischemia
  • Brain infarcts
  • Encephalitis and infectious processes
  • Partial epileptic seizures
  • Comic migraine
  • Brain tumor
Aphasia: diseases associated with aphasia
  • Dysarthria
  • Apraxia
  • hemiplegia
  • hemiparesis
  • Amnesia
  • hemianopia
  • Epileptic attacks associated with loss of consciousness
  • Movement alteration
Aphasia: associations
  • ALIAS, born in Italy around 1996
  • Federation A.IT.A, acronym of Italian Aphasic Associations
General objectives of the associations : inform, raise awareness and involve the population, seek an alternative program, encourage research, encourage contact between the patient and the family member
Fluent aphasias Description : intonation, rhythm, accent and duration of almost normal sentences; eloquence not entirely productive. Often the patient is not aware of his deficit Classification :
  • Conduction or repetition aphasia
  • Abnormal aphasia (amnesia nominum or amnesic aphasia)
  • Sensory or Wernike aphasia
  • Transcortical sensory aphasia
Non flowing fluids Description : The intonation and rhythm of the words are evidently anomalous and particularly slow. Most affected individuals are aware of their verbal deficit refusing to speak, surrender

Classification :

  • Dynamic aphasia
  • Transcortical motor aphasia
  • Transcortical mixed aphasia
  • Broca aphasia (or motor aphasia)
Global aphasias The most severe form of aphasia:
  • Non fluent speech
  • Suppression of words
  • Heavy impairment of language understanding
  • Target: word production, processing and understanding of the same
Other classification of aphasia
  • Receptor aphasia
  • Receptive aphasia
  • Expressive or modification aphasia
Aphasia: key points for diagnosis Capacity assessment of:
  • understanding of words
  • name / identify objects
  • repeat some words
  • recognition of words spelled slowly
  • writing
  • any neologisms
  • repeat / imitate sounds
Differential diagnosis: Aachen test for aphasia Objectives :
  • Ascertain the disease and identify exactly the type of aphasia
  • Evaluate the severity of aphasia
  • Catalog and classify affected patients within a standard and precise syndrome
Evaluation of:
  • Spontaneous language
  • Repetition of words
  • Designation of objects or colors
  • Repeating words
  • Oral / written comprehension
Differential diagnosis: Token test for aphasia Test of tokens: gives an idea about the comprehension of the oral language and the degree of alteration of the same
Other diagnostic tests for the assessment of aphasia
  • Language test
  • Fluence test
  • Evaluation of the cortical quotient
  • Benton test
Aphasia: therapies
  • Speech therapy therapies
  • Rehabilitation of communication
  • Care of thoughts
  • Learning therapy through visual, tactile and linguistic stimuli
  • Linguistic approaches
  • Linguistic-cognitive and pragmatic-communicative therapies
  • Communicative rehabilitation through images and figures
Aphasia: therapies and clinical evidence
  • Targeted and continuous rehabilitation can bring extraordinary results
  • The regularity of language rehabilitation seems indispensable for a good prognosis
  • Bilingual patients relatively quickly regain the ability to speak and communicate with their mother tongue
  • Minor aphasia: the patient recovers all his language skills without the need for targeted rehabilitation therapy



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