The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is spearheading the National Aphasia Awareness Month campaign during the month of June to “recognize the numerous people who are living with or caring for people with aphasia.” The National Aphasia Association (NAA), defines aphasia as an “acquired communication disorder that impairs a person’s ability to process language, but does not affect intelligence. Aphasia impairs the ability to speak and understand others.”
NAA shares that 2 million Americans are currently affected by aphasia and that by 2020 the yearly number of aphasia cases will double to 180,000. According to the blogsite, Lingraphica, “approximately 34% of stroke survivors develop aphasia.” NAA explains that aphasia tends to be caused by strokes that occur in the parts of the brain that control language and speech.
According to NAA, some of the effects of aphasia in stroke survivors are the following:
- Trouble finding words
- Problems with reading, writing, or math
- Inability to process long words and infrequently used words
- Problems understanding what others say
- Trouble speaking, like “getting words out”
Aphasia is often diagnosed after an MRI or a CT scan to confirm the precise location of brain injury. The physician will also conduct certain tests to gauge the person’s ability to follow certain commands, answer questions, name objects, carry on a conversation, and produce language.
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