(Anomia, Aphasia-associated; Nominal Aphasia; Anomic Aphasia; Difficulty Naming Objects and People)
DefinitionAphasia occurs when a person loses the ability to communicate in words. Anomia is a problem naming objects. When you have aphasia-associated anomia, it is difficult to name people and things. Aphasia-associated anomia can be treated.
|Stroke—Most Common Cause of Aphasia|
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CausesAnomia is caused by injury to the language areas of the brain. Examples of injury to the brain are:
- Stroke—most common cause
- Traumatic head injury
- Brain tumor
- Brain infection
- Other brain conditions
Risk FactorsAphasia-associated anomia is more common in older people. Other factors that may increase your chance of aphasia-associated anomia include:
- Increasing age
- Being at risk for stroke or dementia
- Having a history of transient ischemic attacks (TIAs)
SymptomsTell your doctor if you have difficulty finding the right word when speaking and writing. For example, instead of using an exact word, you may use ambiguous or roundabout speech, such as:
- Using general descriptions instead of specifics: “that place where you sleep” for “bedroom”
- Saying what a thing does, but not what it is: “that thing you drive” for “car”
DiagnosisYour doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. A neurological examination may also be done to check brain function.Imaging tests are used to evaluate the brain and other structures. These may include:
- Exam of muscles used in speech
- Tests to assess language skills—for example, identifying objects, defining words, and writing
TreatmentTalk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include the following:
Speech-Language TherapyThe speech therapist will help you to:
- Preserve the language skills you have
- Try to restore those you have lost
- Discover new ways of communicating
- Using flash cards with pictures and words to help you name objects
- Repeating words back to the therapist
- Working with computer programs designed to improve speech, hearing, reading, and writing
Family Care and CounselingYou will learn how to apply the lessons learned in speech therapy to your life. Counseling can help you to adjust to returning home. It can also help your family learn ways to better communicate with you.
PreventionSince stroke is a common cause of aphasia, follow these guidelines to help prevent stroke:
- Exercise regularly.
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables .
- Limit salt and fat in your diet.
- If you smoke, talk to your doctor about how to successfully quit.
- If you drink, do so in moderation. Moderation is 2 or less drinks per day for men and 1 or less drinks per day for women.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Control your blood pressure.
- Ask your doctor if you should take low-dose aspirin.
- Properly treat and control chronic conditions, like diabetes.
National Aphasia Association
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
The Aphasia Institute
Brain Injury Association of Alberta
Aphasia. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association website. Available at: http://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/Aphasia.htm. Accessed May 17, 2013.
Aphasia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated September 2, 2012. Accessed May 17, 2013.
Aphasia. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communicative Disorders website. Available at: http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/voice/pages/aphasia.aspx. Updated October 2008. Accessed May 17, 2013.
Kirshner HS. Aphasia and aphasic syndromes. In: Bradley WG, Daroff RB, Fenichel GM, Jankovic J, eds. Neurology in Clinical Practice. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Butterworth Heniemann Elsevier; 2008: 141-160.
- Reviewer: Rimas Lukas, MD
- Review Date: 01/2015
- Update Date: 05/07/2014
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