Aphasia causes difficulty in speaking and understanding language properly, which has a significant impact on the patient's social life. Turkey offers the possibility of treating aphasia seen in adults.
What is aphasia?
Aphasia is defined as a person's inability to properly express what he wants to say or finds it difficult to understand the speech he hears, in addition to a poor ability to read or write.
Speech disorder occurs as a result of dysfunction in the brain centers responsible for speech and communication, whether the cause is due to a severe traumatic injury to the head or a sudden stroke.
The verbal aphasia is classified into several types according to the symptoms seen. The patient may be able to understand what is being said to him, but finds it difficult to express what he wants (expressive aphasia) or he may be able to express well but does not understand the words of others (receptive aphasia).
Aphasia is a common complication in the elderly after a stroke, and it may be seen in children and young adults after a severe head trauma accident that affects the brain.
The treatment of adult aphasia depends on managing the cause that leads to it as a first step, and then the patient undergoes prolonged treatment sessions under the supervision of specialists in this field to restore the ability to speak and correct pronunciation.
Causes of aphasia
The most common cause of aphasia in adults is a stroke that affects the perfusion of the speech and language centers of the brain, resulting in damage and death of brain cells in that area.
Severe head injuries to the language areas of the brain also cause speech and articulation problems, and the degree of damage depends on the severity of the accident.
Degenerative brain disease in the elderly as Alzheimer's disease is considered one of the important causes of adult aphasia, as the aphasia develops gradually in affected patients.
There are other, less common causes of aphasia, such as the presence of brain tumor Pressure on the speech areas of the brain or brain infection due to septic inflammation.
Cerebral aneurysms may cause aphasia in addition to surgeries performed on the brain epilepsy is among the causes of aphasia, which is often temporary in these cases (in the form of seizures).
Types of aphasia
Doctors classify adult aphasia into several groups according to symptoms and the patient's ability to communicate, where language fluency and ability to understand audible speech are assessed.
There are three main types of aphasia:
Expressive aphasia (Broca aphasia)
In this type of aphasia, the patient loses his ability to express what he wants to say, but he is able to understand what is being said to him well, i.e. the patient is able to understand but cannot speak in a correct and understandable language.
receptive aphasia (Frinka aphasia)
In this type of aphasia, the opposite of what happens in Broca's aphasia occurs, where the patient has difficulty understanding what he hears more than the ability to speak in an understandable way, meaning the patient does not suffer from difficulties in the process of speaking, but rather the difficulty in understanding.
This type of aphasia is considered the most severe type of aphasia that affects a person's ability to speak with others, as the patients has problems understanding audible speech in addition to the inability to speak in a sound linguistic form, meaning that the patient is exposed to the symptoms of Broca and Franka's aphasia together.
Symptoms of aphasia seen in adults
The symptoms of aphasia vary according to the severity and the type of aphasia that the patient suffers from Symptoms of adult aphasia:
- Speak in incomprehensible terms or incoherent sentences
- Speak slowly or stutter and use short sentences
- Replacing words with meaningless words in context
- Not understanding the words that the patient hears
- Writing incomplete sentences
Diagnosis of aphasia
To diagnose adult aphasia, the doctor performs a comprehensive clinical examination and investigation of nerve function, in addition to the possibility of ordering some imaging tests such as a CT scan of the head to rule out the structural causes of aphasia such as brain tumors.
The doctor may resort to conducting a set of other tests, such as a neurogram and auscultation of the carotid artery in the neck to rule out narrowing of the artery that predisposes to a stroke.
In addition to the above, the speech and language pathologist performs a comprehensive linguistic assessment to investigate the presence and type of aphasia and the person’s ability to understand and pronounce speech.
This assessment includes having a conversation with the patient and asking him several questions to assess his ability to understand and speak, and performing several language tests, such as asking the patients to repeat some words or read and write sentences.
how to treat aphasia in Turkey
Treatment depends on the severity of the aphasia. In some cases of aphasia due to temporary causes such as epilepsy or migraine, it is possible that the aphasia improves automatically over time.
Most people with aphasia due to a stroke require Rehabilitation which is performed by experts in the field and drug therapy may also be useful in the management of adult aphasia.
The treatment methods are as follows:
Recovering from speech problems and regaining the ability to speak and communicate normally takes time, as the rehabilitation process is somewhat long and takes place over a period of several sessions.
Language rehabilitation aims to improve people's ability to speak and recover as much of their lost language as possible by having them speak in group therapy sessions with each other under the supervision of specialized experts or through individual therapy sessions with experts that include language exercises.
Rehabilitation sessions may include the use of special computers to assist with language therapy and learning verbs and word sounds.
The earlier to start speech therapy, the better the chances of improvement for the patient, so it is preferable to start rehabilitation immediately after the diagnosis.
There are specialized centers in Turkey to rehabilitate patients with aphasia and treat speech problems. These centers are distinguished by providing the latest necessary equipment and medical staff with experience in dealing with aphasia patients.
drug treatment for aphasia
Some studies are being conducted on the use of certain medications in the treatment of adult aphasia. For example, it may be useful to use drugs that improve blood flow to the brain or those that enhance the brain's ability to recover faster and eliminate harmful chemicals .
The efficacy of these drugs is still being studied and their benefit has not been proven yet.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation
One of the newest treatment techniques that can be useful in treating aphasia. the affected areas of the brain are stimulated by electromagnetic waves precisely on the areas of the brain responsible for speech and language.
This method is considered minimally invasive, but its long-term effects have not yet been studied, as it is one of the latest medical findings in the treatment of aphasia.
Complications of aphasia
Aphasia has an impact on the quality of life and is a cause of many problems on the social side, such as a tendency to isolation and anxiety, in addition to depression, and unwillingness to speak and socialize with others.
Prevention of aphasia
Adult aphasia occurs unexpectedly, so it is not possible to prevent aphasia because it occurs suddenly, but the causes that predispose to aphasia, such as a stroke, can be prevented.
The risk of developing aphasia can be reduced and prevented by:
- Eating a good diet and maintaining a normal weight
- If you are a bicycle rider, always wear a protective helmet to prevent head injuries
- Do not ignore infectious diseases that affect the eye or ear area, as they can spread to the brain and cause brain damage
- Exercising regularly
- Quit smoking and avoid drinking alcohol