Since the left side of the brain controls speech and language abilities for most people, it is more common to see problems with communication in a person who has had a stroke in the left hemisphere of the brain.

Language problems caused by an injury to the brain is called an aphasia.  The patient with aphasia usually has a total or partial loss of the ability to understand to to use words.  The patient may have difficulty finding the correct word. He may use the wrong word altogether. He may not be able to get the word out at all.  This is called expressive aphasia.  The patient has trouble expressing himself.

Sometimes a patient with aphasia has difficulty understanding what is being said. This is called receptive aphasia. Reading, writing, and arithmetic are also areas that the patient may have difficulty with. If a patient has expressive and receptive aphasia, this is called global aphasia.

Speech problems can range from mild to severe, and can cause much frustration to patients and families. A person who does not understand this problem may thing the patient is confused. Patience and understanding are very important when trying to communicate with the patient who has this problem.

A speech pathologist is a valuable resource for the speech-impaired person. After testing and evaluating the extent of the problem, appropriate suggestions and recommendations are made. Therapy is then begun to aid recovery.


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