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What causes aphasia?

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Posted on Mon, 21 Jul 2014
Question: Why does my Dad sometimes use the wrong word. Such as "I need to get something to step on" (instead of sit on when going to get a chair. And "that hat will look nice on your foot". He is 71 years old. A runner and lifts weights, , former marine ..in great physical shape. This "wrong word" happens only once or twice per day since February
doctor
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James (12 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
may have aphasia

Detailed Answer:
Hi, thanks for using healthcare magic

It is possible that the language deficit is related to aphasia.

Aphasia is an acquired (not born with) disorder of language that is due to damage of areas in the brain.

The damage may be due to degeneration (changes that occur with age), minor strokes (which can sometimes be undetected), major stroke, dementia.

Aphasia more commonly affects the left side of the brain compared to the right.

There are different types: (1) receptive aphasia (difficulty understanding others)
(2)expressive aphasia (difficulty expressing yourself properly as in your dad)
(3)global aphasia (problems with both expression and understanding)

It is diagnosed based on examination mainly though brain imaging may be suggested.

TREATMENT:this depends on the severity and the cause. If the examination and tests show that it is not due to an acute severe problem then treatment would mainly be speech therapy assistance if the problem is significant

I hope this helps,feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Michelle Gibson James (5 hours later)
interesting, thank you. I found that term Aphasia in my research on the web and was wondering if it applied, since my Dad is normal 99.5% of the day, aside from the one or two slips of using the wrong word. The definitions seem more drastic in symptoms. Is this because Aphasia starts real mild (with only one or two words wrong) and then we should expect it will increase? His memory is super, he retells stories great, his speech is excellent, aside from the minor "wrong words" per day. Your feedback is valuable, thank you for your time.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James (8 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
may not worsen

Detailed Answer:
HI

The intensity can vary from one person to the next. In some persons, there is no significant impact on communication.
It may not progress any further, the course can vary from one person to the next.

Since his cognitive function (ability to think and reason) is otherwise intact you can consider monitoring at this stage.

If you notice any additional changes then you can consider an assessment by his doctor.

please feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 16811 Questions

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What causes aphasia?

Brief Answer: may have aphasia Detailed Answer: Hi, thanks for using healthcare magic It is possible that the language deficit is related to aphasia. Aphasia is an acquired (not born with) disorder of language that is due to damage of areas in the brain. The damage may be due to degeneration (changes that occur with age), minor strokes (which can sometimes be undetected), major stroke, dementia. Aphasia more commonly affects the left side of the brain compared to the right. There are different types: (1) receptive aphasia (difficulty understanding others) (2)expressive aphasia (difficulty expressing yourself properly as in your dad) (3)global aphasia (problems with both expression and understanding) It is diagnosed based on examination mainly though brain imaging may be suggested. TREATMENT:this depends on the severity and the cause. If the examination and tests show that it is not due to an acute severe problem then treatment would mainly be speech therapy assistance if the problem is significant I hope this helps,feel free to ask any other questions