Aphasia is a common condition that affects over 2 million Americans and 250,000 Brits. Aphasia impacts your ability to comprehend or formulate language. This is a speech disorder similar to apraxia. However, aphasia is more of the motor aspects of speech production, while apraxia of speech is an impairment of linguistic capabilities. Robbing you of your ability to communicate. The four main types of Aphasia that are diagnosable today are primarily caused by a stroke or head trauma.
Broca’s Aphasia is also known as expressive aphasia. This is when people struggle to find and express the right words, yet know what they are trying to say.
Broca’s Aphasia sufferers can be understood through the use of single words or very short sentences. They struggle to form long sentences. They become frustrated as they cannot fully express themselves.
People with Broca’s Aphasia experience difficulty writing but do have the ability to read and understand speech.
The features of Broca’s aphasia are:
- Reduced speech. Limited to short sentences of four words or less.
- Limited vocabulary
- Difficulty forming sounds
- Limited writing capacity
- Can comprehend both written and verbal language
Wernicke’s Aphasia is also known as Fluent Aphasia or Receptive Aphasia. Sufferers can speak well and use long sentences but often what they say makes no sense. They do not know that what they are saying isn’t sensible.
Sufferers of Wernicke’s Aphasia will experience impaired reading and writing ability and an inability to comprehend spoken words. Despite this their ability to produce connected speech is not affected.
Whilst they can produce connected speech, they struggle to produce comprehensible sentences. And their speech includes the intrusion of irrelevant words.
Individuals with Anomic Aphasia suffer from word retrieval failures. Struggling with the expression of the specific word they want to say, most often nouns and verbs.
Whilst some level of Anomic Aphasia is seen in all cases of Aphasia, those whose primary deficit is word retrieval is diagnosed with Anomic Aphasia.
Those with Anomic Aphasia can often describe the object in question in detail and even use body language to describe its nature but will be unable to find the name of the object. Additionally, they also struggle to find the words in writing.
These individuals generally have relatively preserved fluency, comprehension, and grammatical speech. However, their speech is often full of vague expressions of frustration.
Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA)
Individuals with Primary progressive aphasia (PPA) will experience a slow and progressive worsening of their language capabilities. Leading to the eventual loss of the ability to read, write, speak and comprehend.
This degradation can happen over several years. Other cognitive functions, such as judgment, insight, memory, and reason are not affected.
It is important to accurately diagnose PPA, as it can easily be misdiagnosed as other degenerative brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s.
Now You Know the Main Types of Aphasia
If you or a loved one is suffering from Aphasia it is important to know the main types of Aphasia so you can be supported in the way you need. A correct diagnosis will significantly improve your quality of life. To support those living with Aphasia you can contribute to the Asphasia Charity Appeal and make a difference.