Aphasia refers to the inability to formulate or comprehend language due to damage to a certain region of the brain. This damage can be caused by trauma or a cerebral vascular accident (stroke). The diagnosis of aphasia involves the significant impairment in one of four communication modalities after brain injury. It can also occur if there is significant decline over a short duration, also known as progressive aphasia. The four communication modalities are verbal expression, auditory comprehension, functional communication, and reading and writing.
Individuals with aphasia can face many difficulties since they have trouble finding words and are unable to express themselves. They are also unable to read and write. Since their intelligence is unaffected, it can be a very frustrating condition for them. Aphasia has also been observed to affect visual language such as sign language. Aphasia does not refer to damage that has resulted in sensory or motor deficits that produces abnormal speech. Instead, it refers to the damage that affects the individual’s language cognition.
Aphasia is thought to affect about 2 million individuals in the United States with about 180,000 acquiring the disorder annually. In Great Britain, it has been estimated that approximately 250,000 individuals are affected. Despite it being a quite common disorder, about 84.5 percent of individuals have never heard of the condition.
Symptom #1: Anomia
Anomic aphasia refers to a mild and fluent type of aphasia where the affected individual has failure with word retrieval. They have difficulty expressing their words.
This is thought to be a deficit of expressive language. However, affected individuals can usually describe the object in detail accompanied by hand gestures to demonstrate the use of the object without being able to name the object. For example, the patient may ask for “the thing that is used to write” when referring to a pencil or pen.