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Aphasia is a language disorder, which can affect an individual’s ability to recall words, as well as comprehend or express verbal or written language. Aphasia is primarily the result of a stroke, though it may also be caused by other traumatic or degenerative disorders causing damage to the parts of the brain that control language. The location and severity of the stroke, or the progress of the degenerative syndrome will affect which linguistic capabilities remain intact for the individual.

There are three categories of aphasia:

  • Expressive aphasia – Individuals present as being non-fluent, with telegraphic speech. Auditory comprehension is relatively spared.
  • Receptive aphasia – Individuals present as having fluent speech. The primary difficulty is in a survivor’s ability to comprehend verbal or written messages, as well as a difficulty in repetition of words and phrases.
  • “Pure” aphasia – Individuals have selective impairments, in reading, writing, or word recognition. Respectively, these are called alexia, agraphia, and auditory verbal agnosia.