What is Aphasia?

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Aphasia is the loss of the ability to produce or understand language due to injuries in specific areas of the brain.

In most people, the brain areas that specialise in verbal language are located in the left hemisphere. Therefore, injury to said areas may lead to symptoms of aphasia. These symptoms will depend on the location and size of the injury, as well as each brain’s capacity to adapt to the changes (known as “neuroplasticity”).

A person may present aphasia as a result of various causes: stroke (which is the most common cause), traumatic brain injury, infection or brain tumour, among others. Dementia patients may also develop aphasia at various points during its progression.

Currently, patients with aphasia must undergo speech-language pathology treatment. Some drugs may have a positive effect when added to speech-language pathology, although their use is not generalised.