What you need to know about aphasia

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Bruce Willis is “walking away” from his acting career Willis’ family announced Wednesday after being diagnosed with aphasia, a condition that affects the ability to express or understand speech. The condition is “affecting his cognitive abilities,” the family said,

So what is aphasia? And what is the reason for this? Here’s what you need to know.

Aphasia is a condition that affects communication.

Aphasia is a disorder that damages the parts of the brain responsible for speaking, writing and understanding language. Mayo Clinic explains,

It often occurs after a sudden emergency, such as a stroke (when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted) or a head injury. But aphasia can also come on more slowly over time. It can affect people of any age, but is most common in Middle aged and aged. guesses say About 180,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with aphasia each year.

The specific communication challenges people face may vary.

With aphasia, some people may speak in short or incomplete sentences or long sentences that make no sense. Other times, they may use unfamiliar words or seem unable to follow through on the conversation. All this can be done even in writing.

In general, people with aphasia fall into one of three different patterns, According to the Mayo Clinic,

  • Expressive aphasia (sometimes called Broca’s or non-conductive aphasia) In which people are better able to understand others than to speak. They often struggle to work out words or speak in phrases rather than complete sentences. For example, they might say things like: “Walk the park today,” Mayo Clinic explains,

  • Pervasive aphasia (sometimes called fluent or Wernicke’s aphasia) In which people speak in long, complex sentences that make no sense. They may have difficulty understanding spoken language, and they do not always realize that others may not understand them.

  • Global aphasia. People with this pattern have poor understanding and difficulty forming words and sentences, Mayo Clinic says,

Aphasia is usually the result of a serious brain problem, such as a stroke, injury, or tumor.

Aphasia is not something that happens on its own; It is caused by damage to one (or more) areas of the brain responsible for language. Stroke is a common culprit. When the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off or greatly reduced, it prevents oxygen and nutrients from functioning brain tissue – which can have immediate and sometimes permanent effects on circulation.

Serious head injuries are another possible cause of aphasia, as are brain infections.

But, he The condition may also develop over timeEspecially if a person has a brain tumor or a progressive neurological condition like Alzheimer’s.

Willis’ family has provided no details beyond his aphasia diagnosis.

If you have any concerns, talk to your doctor as soon as possible.

Because aphasia is highly associated with serious underlying brain issues, if you (or a loved one) notice any changes in speech or cognition, it is important to see a doctor right away.

If you suddenly develop any of the following symptoms, you should seek emergency medical care immediately, Because they could be a sign of a stroke, says the Mayo Clinic.,

  • difficulty speaking

  • trouble understanding speech

  • difficulty remembering words

  • problems with reading or writing

Depending on a person’s condition, doctors may run tests such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scans to better understand what’s going on. They may also run tests to assess a person’s ability to answer questions and hold conversations.

There are ways to treat aphasia.

Treatment of aphasia depends a lot on the underlying cause. For example, after a brain injury like a stroke, some people are able to recover vital function – including language skills – depending on which parts of the brain were affected and How extensive was the damage. Many people go to rehabilitation programs, which often include a speech pathologist (in addition to a team of medical providers) who can help with recovery.

In general, doctors will try to address the underlying cause of the aphasia, and then help people gain communication skills.

“Aphasia therapy aims to improve a person’s ability to communicate by helping him or her to use remaining language abilities, restoring language abilities as much as possible and learning other modes of communication, such as gestures, pictures or electronic using tools,” National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders explains, There are individual and group therapy options, as well as speech-producing technologies that can help people communicate throughout their day.

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