Aphasia: What you should know

Latest News, Topics, What You Should Know

June is Aphasia Awareness Month.  About 1 million people in the United States currently have aphasia, and nearly 180,000 Americans acquire it each year, according to the National Aphasia Association.

Aphasia is not a cognitive disorder but rather an acquired language disorder that results from damage to parts of the brain that help us process language. Stroke is the most common cause, but aphasia can also occur after head injuries, brain tumor or a progressive neurological disease. Another type of aphasia can occur when brain tissue deteriorates with age.

The severity of aphasia also varies. It may affect mainly a single aspect of language use, such as the ability to retrieve the names of objects, or the ability to put words together into sentences, or the ability to read. There are several types of aphasia such as Global, Broca’s, Wernicke’s, Primary Progressive, Anomic, and Mixed Non-Fluent Aphasia.

The cause of aphasia is usually diagnosed using a brain imaging test, such as an MRI. Then, a primary care provider or neurologist will refer the patient to a speech-language pathologist for treatment.  At McLaren Port Huron, speech therapists assess and treat language and communication challenges and help with the development or recovery of good communication skills. 

For more information, or to make an appointment for an evaluation call McLaren Port Huron Speech Therapy Services at 810-989-3178.