There are a number of different types of aphasia, which affect people in different ways.
The most common types of aphasia are:
- Broca's aphasia
- Wernick's aphasia
- Anomic aphasia
Another type of aphasia is primary progressive aphasia (PPA), which unlike the other types of aphasia is degenerative, meaning it gets worse over time.
Broca's aphasia (non-fluent aphasia)
The features of Broca's aphasia are:
- severely reduced speech, often limited to short utterances of less than four words
- limited vocabulary
- clumsy formation of sounds
- difficulty writing (but ability to read and understand speech).
Wernicke's aphasia (fluent aphasia)
The features of Wernicke’s aphasia are:
- impaired reading and writing
- an inability to grasp the meaning of spoken words (producing connected speech is not affected)
- an inability to produce sentences that hang together
- the intrusion of irrelevant words in severe cases.
The features of anomic aphasia are:
- an inability to supply the words for the very things the person wants to talk about, particularly the significant nouns and verbs
- speech that's full of vague expressions of frustration
- a difficulty finding words in writing as well as in speech.
Primary progressive aphasia (PPA)
Primary progressive aphasia (PPA) is a condition where language capabilities become slowly and progressively worse, leading to a gradual loss of the ability to:
- understand what other people are saying.
Deterioration can happen slowly, over a period of years. Other mental functions such as memory, reasoning, insight and judgement are not usually affected.
It's important to get an accurate diagnosis for PPA. This is to rule out other degenerative brain disorders like Alzheimer's disease where language and memory and reason are affected.