Just as there are many types of aphasia, there are many ways in which aphasia can be acquired. We hope to provide you with education on its causes, and the expectations tied to improvement over time.
What is aphasia?
Aphasia is loss of language, especially characterized by difficulty finding desired words. Aphasia is caused when the brain is damaged in areas that affect language comprehension and production. It can range significantly in severity, and is sometimes accompanied by other physical, cognitive, and emotional difficulties. It is life-altering and seriously affects activities of daily living and communication.
What causes aphasia?
Aphasia can be caused by a number of different types of damage to the brain:
- Stroke – this is when a clot lodges somewhere in the brain and prevents blood-flow to other parts of the brain; this clot can come from other parts of the body, like the heart, or can develop in the brain itself
- Hemorrhagic Stroke – this occurs when a vessel bursts in the brain; blood is actually poisonous to the brain, so any area of the brain that is touched by blood will be damaged and the neurons (the cells in our brain) may die
- Aneurysm – an aneurysm is a ballooning of a vessel – if that balloon bursts, it will cause a hemorrhagic stroke
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) – a TBI can cause aphasia, depending on what part of the head was hit and then what part of the brain was damaged
- Tumor – a tumor in the brain can cause aphasia if it grows in or presses upon a language region of the brain
- Disease – some neurological diseases can damage the brain and can result in aphasia, depending upon where that damage happens
While June is National Aphasia Awareness Month, your understanding about the condition can help you all year long. Despite the challenges of aphasia, it can improve over time. It just takes the right exercises, support, and endurance.