What's the treatment for aphasia?
Initially, the underlying cause of aphasia must be treated or stabilized. To regain language function, therapy must begin as soon as possible following the injury. Although there are no medical or surgical procedures currently available to treat this condition, aphasia resulting from stroke or head injury may improve through the use of speech therapy. For most
individuals, however, the primary emphasis is placed on making the most of retained language abilities and learning to use other means of communication to compensate for lost language abilities.
In some instances, an individual will completely recover from aphasia without treatment. In most cases, however, language therapy should begin as soon as possible and be tailored to the individual needs of the patient. Rehabilitation with a speech pathologist involves extensive exercises in which patients read, write, follow directions, and repeat what they hear. Computer-aided therapy may supplement standard language therapy. Aphasia therapy strives to improve an individual's ability to communicate by helping the person to use remaining abilities, to restore language abilities as much as possible, to compensate for language problems, and to learn other methods of communicating. Treatment may be offered in individual or group settings. Individual therapy focuses on the specific needs of the person. Group therapy offers the opportunity to use new communication skills in a comfortable setting. Stroke clubs, which are regional support groups formed by individuals who have had a stroke, are available in most major cities. These clubs also offer the opportunity for individuals with aphasia to try new communication skills. In addition, stroke clubs can help the individual and his or her family adjust to the life changes that accompany stroke and aphasia. Family involvement is often a crucial component of aphasia treatment so that family members can learn the best way to communicate with their loved one.
More information on aphasia
What is aphasia? - Aphasia is a defect or loss of language function in which the comprehension or expression of words (or nonverbal equivalents of words) is impaired as a result of brain injury.
What is Broca's aphasia? - Broca's aphasia, also called motor aphasia, results from damage to the front portion or frontal lobe of the language-dominant area of the brain.
What is Wernicke's aphasia? - Wernicke's aphasia is caused by damage to the side portion or temporal lobe of the language-dominant area of the brain.
What is global aphasia? - Global aphasia is caused by widespread damage to the language areas of the left hemisphere. As a result, all basic language functions are affected.
What is nominal aphasia? - Nominal aphasia is a form of aphasia in which the subject has difficulty remembering or recognizing names which the subject should know well.
What is conduction aphasia? - Conduction aphasia is a relatively rare form of aphasia, caused by damage to the nerve fibres connecting Wernicke's and Broca's areas.
What causes aphasia? - Aphasia is caused by damage to one or more of the language areas of the brain. This damage affects one or more of the basic language functions.
How is aphasia diagnosed? - Commonly used tests to diagnose aphasia include the Boston Diagnostic Aphasia Examination, the Western Aphasia Battery, and possibly, the Porch Index of Speech Ability.
What's the treatment for aphasia? - Aphasia treatment therapy strives to improve an individual's ability to communicate by helping the person to use remaining abilities, to restore language abilities.
What's the prognosis of aphasia? - The outcome of aphasia is difficult to predict given the wide range of variability of the condition. The location of the injury is important and is clue to prognosis.