Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Wernicke’s Aphasia

Wernicke’s aphasia (AKA fluent aphasia/receptive aphasia) is characterised by inappropriate words and the inability to understand spoken language. Speech is preserved with normal rhythm, but language content is incorrect. This may vary from the insertion of a few incorrect or nonexistent words to a profuse outpouring of jargon. Grammar, syntax, rate, intonation and stress are normal. Substitutions of one word for another (paraphasias, e.g. “telephone” for “television”) are common. Comprehension and repetition are poor.

It is often a result of damage to Wernicke’s area, a left laterised focal area in 97% of people (including the majority of left handers). The major deficit of Wernicke’s aphasia can be understood as an inability synchronising objects and ideas with the words that signify them. Patients who recover from Wernicke’s aphasia report that, while aphasic, they found the speech of others to be unintelligible and, despite being cognizant of that fact that they were speaking, they could neither stop themselves nor understand their own words. Contrast this to Broca’s aphasia which is typified by non-fluent speech lacking in grammer.

An example of Broca’s aphasia:
“I am a sig… no… man… uh…., well,…again.”

(These words were emitted slowly and with great effort. The sounds were not clearly articulated and each syllable was uttered harshly, explosively and in a throaty voice. Moreover, Broca’s aphasia is often accompanied by right hemiparesis).

An example of Wernicke’s aphasia:
“Ive done a lot well, I impose a lot, while, on the other hand, you know what I mean, I have to run around, look it over, ?trebbin? and all that sort of stuff”.”

1 comment:

  1. I know it's an old post, just though I'd say I enjoy reading your blogs. Pretty helpful for my Masters course! Thanks