aphasia Essay

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Aphasia is a language disorder that results from damage to portions of the brain that are responsible for language. For most people, these are parts of the left side (hemisphere) of the brain. Aphasia usually occurs suddenly, often as the result of a stroke or head injury, but it may also develop slowly, as in the case of a brain tumor. The disorder impairs the expression and understanding of language as well as reading and writing. “Aphasia may co-occur with speech disorders such as dysarthria or apraxia of speech, which also result from brain damage”. (Sarno 23)
Anyone can acquire aphasia, but most people who have aphasia are in their middle to late years. Men and women are equally affected. “It is estimated that approximately 80,000
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Individuals with Wernicke's aphasia may speak in long sentences that have no meaning, add unnecessary words, and even create new "words." For example, someone with Wernicke's aphasia may say, "You know that smoodle pinkered and that I want to get him round and take care of him like you want before," meaning "The dog needs to go out so I will take him for a walk." (Eiesenson 45) “Individuals with Wernicke's aphasia usually have great difficulty understanding speech and are therefore often unaware of their mistakes”. (Eiesenson 53) “These individuals usually have no body weakness because their brain injury is not near the parts of the brain that control movement”. (Eiesenson 74)
A third type of aphasia, global aphasia, results from damage to extensive portions of the language areas of the brain. “Individuals with global aphasia have severe communication difficulties and may be extremely limited in their ability to speak or comprehend language”. ()

Aphasia is usually first recognized by the physician who treats the individual for his or her brain injury. Frequently this is a neurologist. The physician typically performs tests that require the individual to follow commands, answer questions, name objects, and converse. If the physician suspects aphasia, the individual is often referred to a speech-language pathologist, who performs a comprehensive examination of the person's ability to understand, speak, read, and
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