disturbance of any or all of the skills, associations and habits of spoken and written language produced by injury to certain brain areas that are specialized for these functions. Thus, aphasia can affect auditory comprehension, oral expression, reading, writing, word finding, and can be accompanied by impaired vision, hearing, muscle weakness and paralysis or muscle incoordination (McCaffrey, 2001). Aphasia is an acquired condition, most commonly secondary to a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as may occur during motor vehicle accidents; or due to cerebral vascular accidents (CVA) also known as a stroke (when the brain is deprived of oxygen). Less commonly, aphasia may occur upon the development of a brain tumor, an infection or due to Alzheimer’s disease, resulting in either a temporary or permanent condition.
Aphasia is categorized in accordance with the brain areas affected. The left hemisphere of the brain is primarily in control of language (in most people); thus aphasia is categorized by fluency of speech. Fluent aphasia has normal articulation and rhythm of speech, but is deficient in meaning since fluent speech is not equivalent to meaningful speech. Non-fluent aphasic speech is slow and labored with short utterance length, so the flow of speech is somewhat impaired at levels of speech initiation, sequencing and production of grammatical sequences (McCaffrey, 2001). The non-fluent types of aphasia are Broca’s and transcortical motor aphasia. The fluent types are Wernicke’s, anomic, and conduction, transcortical sensory aphasia; while global aphasia is neither fluent nor non-fluent.
Broca’s aphasia is the most common of the non-fluent aphasias, also described as verbal, motor, or efferent aphasia. In truth, Broca’s aphasia is really expressive aphasia, as individuals understand and process speech but may have difficulty speaking. The site of lesion affects the left frontal lobe, more specifically, the third frontal convolution (including the...
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