Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Symptoms Evaluation Treatment Home Care warning signs Outlook Underlying Cause Types broca's aphasia global aphasia wernicke's aphasia Anatomy

Global Aphasia Types

The three main forms of aphasia are caused by damage to two different areas of the brain:

Three types of aphasia include:

  • Broca's aphasia:
    • Person is able to understand speech, but is unable to form words properly
  • Wernicke's aphasia:
    • Person is unable to understand speech and forms words correctly, but sentences have no meaning
  • Global aphasia:
    • Person is completely unable to understand or communicate properly

Global Aphasia Broca's Aphasia

People with Broca's aphasia have damage to the front of the brain.

Individuals with Broca's aphasia often speak in short, meaningful phrases that are produced with great effort. For example, a person with Broca's aphasia may say "walk dog" meaning, "I will take the dog for a walk." The same sentence could also mean "You take the dog for a walk," or "The dog walked out of the yard."

People with Broca's aphasia are fully aware of their difficulties and often become frustrated trying to produce sentences.

Global Aphasia Global Aphasia

Global aphasia is the most severe form of aphasia. It involves damage to multiple language centers in the brain. These individuals usually cannot express themselves verbally, and cannot comprehend language that is spoken or written.

Global Aphasia Wernicke's Aphasia

Those with Wernicke's aphasia have damage to the temporal lobe of the brain.

People with Wernicke's often speak in fluent sentences, but the sentences have no meaning. These people may add extra words to a sentence or even create new words. For example they may know what to do with a comb, but they have forgotten what to call it.

Continue to Global Aphasia Anatomy

Last Updated: Nov 16, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Global Aphasia References
  1. Berthier ML. Poststroke aphasia : epidemiology, pathophysiology and treatment. Drugs Aging. 2005;22(2):163-82. [15733022]
  2. Dobkin BH. Clinical practice. Rehabilitation after stroke. N Engl J Med. 2005 Apr 21;352(16):1677-84. [15843670]
  3. Grossman M, Ash S. Primary progressive aphasia: aNeurocase. 2004 Feb;10(1):3-18. [15849155]
  4. Mesulam MM. Primary progressive aphasia--a language-based dementia. N Engl J Med. 2003 Oct 16;349(16):1535-42. [14561797]
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