Speech Pathology

Types of Aphasia

Aphasia, a language disorder that is usually caused by damage to the left side of the brain, can make it difficult for a person to understand spoken or written information. It can also affect a person’s ability to speak or write. There are several different types of aphasia:

Wernicke's Aphasia

People with Wernicke’s aphasia often have serious comprehension difficulties. A person may say meaningless words that don’t make sense and may not realize these words are wrong. For example, a patient may call an apple a "dortog."

Broca's Aphasia

Broca’s aphasia, which often occurs as the result of a stroke, makes it difficult for a person to form complete sentences, understand sentences and express him or herself. A person may leave basic words out of sentences, making it hard to communicate with others

Global Aphasia

Global aphasia often results from a stroke and makes it difficult for a person to understand and form words and sentences. Global is different from broca's aphasia because persons with global have more difficulty with comprehension. Also, broca's is secondary to injury to the frontal part of the left side of the brain, while global results from damage to frontal and back portions of the left side of the brain.  

Conduction aphasia

Conduction aphasia (also called associative aphasia) is a rare form of aphasia that is usually called by damage to the left side of the brain, most usually a stroke. A person may have good comprehension and speech but cannot repeat correctly what is said. A person may also transpose words so that they do not make sense.

Transcortical Motor Aphasia

Transcortical motor aphasia often results from a cerebrovascular accident or stroke. A person usually has good comprehension but can only say a sentence one or two words long and has difficulty writing. However, a person can often repeat words or sentences. 

Transcortical Sensory Aphasia 

Transcortical Sensory aphasia is also due to damage to the left side of the brain, most usually a stroke. Deficits include poor comprehension, difficulty understanding others and naming.  However, patients usually speak at a normal or rapid rate and will be able to repeat what others say. 

Mixed Transcortical Aphasia

Mixed transcortical aphasia, the least common of the three transcortical aphasias, is rare. A person may have severe speaking and comprehension impairment, but can repeat long sentences or songs.  

Anomic Aphasia

People with anomic aphasia have difficulty finding the right words for speaking and writing. For example, a person may know exactly what he or she wants to say, but cannot find the words to use. This can be very frustrating for both patients and caregivers. 

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Last Updated: 08-18-2016
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