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Understanding Aphasia: Unraveling Causes, Symptoms, and Effective Treatment

Aphasia refers to a language disorder that affects a person’s ability to communicate. There are many causes of aphasia and symptoms may include disturbances to various aspects of speaking, understanding and processing information, reading, and writing. At Open Lines®, our team of expert licensed speech therapists offer one of a kind, state of the art intensive aphasia treatment options

What Is aphasia?

Aphasia is a communication disorder characterized by varying degrees of difficulty in one or many of the following aspects of language:

  1. Auditory Comprehension: Understanding spoken language.
  2. Reading Comprehension: Difficulty interpreting and comprehending written language.
  3. Spoken Expression: Difficulties sharing thoughts and ideas verbally and word-finding difficulty.
  4. Written Expression: Challenges in conveying thoughts through writing.

Aphasia arises when there are neurological injuries or changes to the language centers of the brain. These can often be caused by a stroke, traumatic brain injury, or progressive neurological disorder such as primary progressive aphasia.

Causes of aphasia

The primary causes of aphasia are rooted in disruptions to neurological function in areas of the brain responsible for language. Stroke stands out as a leading culprit, with the sudden interruption of blood and oxygen to the brain. When blood and oxygen flow to the brain’s language centers are halted, even temporarily, language functions can be altered. Traumatic brain injuries resulting from accidents or severe head injuries can also precipitate aphasia. Additionally, neurological conditions such as brain tumors, infections, or progressive diseases may impact neurological processes in the brain’s language centers contributing to the onset of this communication disorder.

Symptoms of Aphasia

Because different parts of the brain are impacted differently by neurological injuries, symptom clusters and their severity vary  from person to person and can range from mild to severe. Early symptom recognition is important for early diagnosis and intervention though aphasia treatment can effectively ameliorate communication at any stage in a person’s journey.

Aphasia may affect spoken language, comprehension of language, written expression, or reading comprehension.

Some individuals may experience difficulties finding the right words. Some may note they speak using shorter or simpler sentences, omit words when speaking, or struggle to use appropriate grammar. Others may find they have a hard time understanding spoken or written language. Reading and writing skills may also be affected.

Other commonly experienced symptoms can include difficulty connecting and linking ideas to express cohesive thoughts, regulating attention and focus, difficulty with memory and numbers, using the wrong words, and having trouble initiating activities and problem solving. Tension and frustration navigating social situations can cause distress and  feelings of loneliness.

These types of daily hurdles can significantly impact a person’s ability to connect with others, participate in daily activities, and negatively impact a person’s sense of connection to themself and their community.

Aphasia Treatment

Aphasia treatment requires a multidimensional approach, combining medical interventions, therapeutic strategies, and rehabilitative efforts. Speech therapy for adults is a cornerstone of aphasia treatment that focuses on strengthening and restoring language skills. A licensed speech-language pathologist (SLP) builds personalized strategies for enhanced communication thereby improving connections to people and activities that matter most in life.

In an effort to provide truly meaningful and successful outcomes, Open Lines has designed one-of-a-kind,  state of the art Intensive cognitive and aphasia programs. These programs are individually tailored to address personal goals and needs and employ speech therapy exercises and activities that are grounded in the highest standards of scientific rigor. Studies indicate that engaging in intensive aphasia speech therapy sessions ranging from one to four hours per day, five days a week, optimizes neural reorganization leading to notable enhancements in comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing skills among individuals with aphasia.

Intensive Comprehensive Aphasia Program at Open Lines

It’s never too late! Even those who survived stroke or neural injuries long ago or who have been living with a progressive neurological condition for years can benefit from our on-line, in-home, or in-office intensive programs. Participate in an intensive program and return to living life!

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