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Documenting the Communication Gap


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Documenting the Communication Gap

  2. 2. Communication Disorders  A Communication Disorder “is an impairment in the ability to receive, send, process, and comprehend concepts or verbal, nonverbal and graphic symbol systems. A communication disorder may be evident in the processes of hearing, language, and/or speech. A communication disorder may range in severity from mild to profound. It may be developmental or acquired. Individuals may demonstrate one or any combination of communication disorders. A communication disorder may result in a primary disability or it may be secondary to other disabilities.”
  3. 3. Aphasia  Aphasia  A language disorder due to brain damage or disease. It can include difficulty with formulating, expressing and understanding language.
  4. 4. Types of Aphasias  Aphasias are distinguished by symptoms and indicate the neural structures that have been damaged. There are several types of Aphasias, I will discuss three of them. III. Anomic aphasia (also known as dysnomia, nominal aphasia, and amnesic aphasia) I. Wernicke's aphasia II. Broca’s aphasia
  5. 5. Neural Structures Implicated in Aphasias  Wernicke's aphasia - is generally caused by comprising the superior temporal gyrus, in the superior portion of Brodmann area 22.  Broca’s aphasia - is generally caused by comprising Brodmann areas 44 and 45, which lie anterior to the premotor cortex in the inferior posterior portion of the frontal lobe  Anomic aphasia - Anomia is caused by damage to various parts of the parietal lobe or the temporal lobe of the brain. This type of phenomenon can be quite complex, and usually involves a breakdown in one or more pathways between regions in the brain. The responses may also differ depending on whether objects are shown in the right or left hand side of the visual field.
  6. 6. Causes of Aphasia “Aphasia is usually caused by a stroke or brain injury with damage to one or more parts of the brain that deal with language.” According to the National Aphasia Association, about 25% to 40% of people who survive a stroke get aphasia. Other ways to get an aphasia are by severe head injury, brain tumor, corticobasal degeneration (CBD), progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), Alzheimer’s disease, meningitis, and encephalitis. Brain with a lesion causing Wernicke’s aphasia
  7. 7. Effects of Aphasias Wernicke's Aphasia - is a type of aphasia often (but not always) caused by neurological damage to Wernicke's area in the brain (Brodman Area 22, in the posterior part of the superior temporal gyrus of the dominant hemisphere). Example: “I called my mother on the television and did not understand the door. It was too breakfast, but they came from far to near. My mother is not too old for me to be young.” Broca's Aphasia - is an aphasia caused by damage to anterior regions of the brain, including (but not limited to) the left inferior frontal region known as Broca's area. For example, in the following passage, a Broca's aphasic patient is trying to explain how he came to the hospital for dental surgery: “Yes... ah... Monday... er... Dad and Peter H... (his own name), and Dad.... er... hospital... and ah... Wednesday... Wednesday, nine o'clock... and oh... Thursday... ten o'clock, ah doctors... two... an' doctors... and er... teeth... yah.” Anomic aphasia- is a form of aphasia (loss of language capability caused by brain damage) in which the subject has difficulty remembering or recognizing names which the subject should know well. The subject speaks fluently, grammatically, has normal comprehension, and the only deficit is trouble with "word finding," that is, finding appropriate words for what they mean to say. Subjects often use circumlocutions, in order to express a certain word for which they cannot remember the name. Sometimes the subject can recall the name when given clues. Sufferers are often frustrated when they know they know the name, but cannot produce it. "Hold on, I should know the name of that thing... Give me a minute ..."
  8. 8. Treatments and Prognosis for Aphasias  “Several major studies are underway in Thompson’s lab. In one, aphasia patients are trained to comprehend and produce selected syntactic structures Thompson and her team, using neural imaging, study resultant changes in brain activity. The team also studies the effects of the site and the extent of brain damage, such as how blood flows in various brain regions. Their hope is to determine whether recovery can be predicted and, if so, to identify the most important predictors.” “the training they used in research had positive therapeutic effects on the aphasic participants’ ability to communicate.”  Treatment for someone with aphasia depends on factors such as: • Age • Cause of brain injury • Type of aphasia • Position and size of the brain lesion  A person with aphasia may have a brain tumor that's affecting the language center of the brain. Surgery to treat the brain tumor may also improve the aphasia.  A person with aphasia who has had a stroke may benefit from sessions with a speech-language pathologist. Medication Trans-cranial Stimulation SLT Techniques Speech and Language Therapy
  9. 9. Conclusion  Aphasia can be difficult for individuals who have it and also for the people involved with them. “Patients might become frustrated when trying to decipher written and oral communication. Friends, family members and caregivers are advised to speak slowly and to use simple sentences. Significant others should be compassionate when they must repeat themselves to a friend or family member who have an aphasia.”  Aphasia usually occurs in the middle to later years of life. It can occur in both men and women. It is estimated that about 80,000 people are afflicted every year, and there are over 1 million sufferers in the United States. Some individuals recover completely without treatment, but a large amount of sufferers require treatment such as speech therapy. At the moment, there are also a large number of research studies being undertaken, as well new drugs available to help sufferers now and in the future.
  10. 10. References Atlanta Aphasia Association (2006). Typesof Aphasia. Retrieved August 9, 2013, from BROCA’S AREA , WERNICKE’S AREA, AND OTHER LANGUAGE-PROCESSING AREAS IN THE BRAIN (2012). THEBRAIN FROM TOP TO BOTTOM. Retrieved August 9, 2013, from NHS Choices (2012, November 13). Aphasia. Retrieved August 9, 2013, from WebMD (n.d.). Aphasia:Types,Causes,Symptoms,Treatments. Retrieved August 9, 2013, from symptoms-types-treatments American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (1993). Definitions of communication disordersand variations [Relevant Paper]. Available from THE BRAIN FROM TOP TO BOTTOM (2012). BROCA’S AREA , WERNICKE’S AREA, AND OTHER LANGUAGE-PROCESSING AREAS IN THE BRAIN. Retrieved August 9, 2013, from UpToDate Marketing Professional (2012, November 30). Aphasia: Prognosis and treatment. Retrieved August 9, 2013, from Discover - Northwestern Research (2012, May). Hope for Those with Aphasia |. Retrieved August 9, 2013, from