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Published on June 5, 2024 at 8:00 / Updated on June 21, 2024 at 8:01

Aphasia is a language disorder that affects comprehension and/or the ability to express oneself. There are different types of aphasia. A person may have difficulty with one or more aspects of communication.

People with aphasia may struggle with the following:

  • Speaking and writing
    • Finding the right word
    • Using appropriate words for a given context
    • Formulating complete sentences
  • Comprehension
    • Speech
    • Written text

Causes and triggers

Aphasia is caused by damage to the area of the brain that is responsible for language. The damage can often be traced to a specific event. Less commonly, the cause may be progressive (e.g., certain cognitive disorders or a growing brain tumour) and the aphasia may worsen. Below are the most common causes:

  • A cerebrovascular accident (stroke)
  • A brain infection
  • A head injury


The primary treatment for aphasia is to treat the cause when possible. Speech therapy can also promote language recovery.

When aphasia persists, certain tools can be used to facilitate communication.

When should I see a health care professional?

Consult your health care provider if you or someone else is experiencing symptoms of aphasia.

For more information:

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