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Wernicke aphasia

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									Wernicke’s aphasia

         Michaelyn Butcher
         Marshall University
              CD 315
               What is aphasia?

   “Aphasia is an acquired communication
    disorder that impairs a person's ability to
    process language, but does not affect
    intelligence” (Aphasia fact sheet, 1999).
   “Aphasia impairs the ability to speak and
    understand others, and most people with
    aphasia experience difficulty reading and
    writing” (Aphasia fact sheet,1999).
What is Wernicke’s aphasia?

   “Wernicke’s aphasia is a fluent syndrome
    associated with lesions in the auditory cortex
    known as Wernicke’s area” (Bloom, 1997).
What is Wernicke’s area?

            “Wernicke’s area is
             responsible for language
             formulation and
             comprehension of spoken
             and written language”
             (Bloom, 1997). This is a
             picture of wernicke’s area
             retrieved from Cornell
     What can cause aphasia?

 Cerebrovascular accident (stroke) in
  Wernicke’s area
 Traumatic Brain Injury
 Tumor in Wernicke’s area
 Infections
    What speech characteristics may

 Fluent effortless speech
 Logorrhea (excessive use of words)
 Verbal paraphasias (pencil for pen)
 Literal paraphasias (totkebook for notebook)
 Neologisms (made up words)
(Bloom, 1997).
What comprehension problems occur?

   Auditory comprehension is usually severely
    impaired in patients with wernicke’s aphasia.
    This means they can not understand what
    they hear.
   Reading comprehension is usually impaired
    and written performance is variable. (Bloom,
    1997). This means they have trouble
    understanding what they read.
      Are Wernicke’s patients aware of

   Patients suffering from Wernicke’s aphasia
    usually are not aware of their deficit because
    of impaired auditory comprehension.
   In mild cases of Wernicke’s aphasia, patients
    may be slightly aware of their deficit
    (Brookshire, 2003).
How does Wernicke’s aphasia effect
family members?

   May become intolerant and uncomfortable.
   Burdened by sadness and anxiety.
   Spouses may become angry, overprotective
    and depressed.
   Changes in managing the details of daily life
    can overpower the patient and family. This
    may take adjustment. (Bloom,1997).
Ways family members can

   Use short, uncomplicated sentences.
   Repeat the content words or write down key words.
   Maintain a natural conversational manner
    appropriate for an adult.
   Minimize distractions, such as a blaring radio,
    whenever possible.
   Include the person with aphasia in conversations.
   Encourage any type of communication, whether it is
    speech, gesture, pointing, or drawing.
   Avoid correcting the individual's speech.
   Allow the individual plenty of time to talk. (Aphasia).
   Bloom, R. (1997). Communication disorders following focal brain damage. In R.
    Bloom & C. Ferrand (Eds.), Introduction to organic and neurogenic disorders of
    communication: Current scope of practice (pp. 139-165). Needham Heights,
    MA: Allyn & Bacon.

   Brookshire, R.H. ( 2003). Aphasia caused by destruction of cortical centers for
    language. In R.H. Brookshire (Eds.), Introduction to neurogenic communication
    disorders. (pp. 153-164). St. Louis, MO: Mosby Inc.

   National Aphasia Association. Aphasia fact sheet. (1999). Retrieved March 1,
    2005, from

   National institute on deafness and other communication disorders. Aphasia.
    (2002). Retrieved March 1, 2005, from

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