There are different types of aphasia, and it is essential to know the difference between them in order to find the right solution for the person affected by this disease.
1. A lesion in the left hemisphere of the brain
Our brain manages a large number of complex information and behaviours: vision, feelings, movement, memorization, decision-making, and language. If we are particularly interested in language, we realize that, in a large majority of the population, the areas dedicated to language are located in the left hemisphere of the brain.
Two main areas are often mentioned:
- Broca's area: which is located in the anterior part of the brain, is known to process information related to expression.
- Wernicke's area: which is located in the posterior part of the brain, is known to process information related to understanding.
If an injury occurs in any of these areas, such as a stroke, it can cause a language disorder, called aphasia.However, a lesion rarely affects only one area of the brain. Adnexal areas are often affected , such as those responsible for movement. The left hemisphere controls the right side of the body while the right hemisphere controls the left side of the body. So, if the left hemisphere is affected by a brain injury, the person may also have partial or complete paralysis of the right side of the body (leg, arm, face).
2. The 4 different kinds of aphasia
- Broca's aphasia or expression aphasia (nonfluent): two-thirds of all aphasia disorders: the individual speaks only a little, more slowly and has difficulty remembering words. This is where Vocalyx comes in most often. Indeed, a large part of people with Broca's aphasia suffer from not being able to interact with the people around them, while they maintain a good understanding of what is said to them, they need a voice to express their desires, needs and opinions . Vocalyx is the tool that allows them to select or compose the desired message, then to activate the synthesized voice of the smartphone or tablet in order to express it out loud.
- Wernicke aphasia or (fluent) reception aphasia is characterized by significant difficulties in understanding what is said or written. On one hand, a person with Wernicke's aphasia will speak a lot, but on the other hand, it will be in a disjointed and often inappropriate way in regards to the context around him/her. He/she will even use "non-words" or "jargon" giving the impression that he/she is using his/her own language. In the majority of the cases, a person with Wernicke’s aphasia is not conscious of this disorder.
- Mixed aphasia : when there is both a reduction in expression and significant comprehension difficulties.
- Global aphasia : the most disabling form of aphasia; expression is almost non-existent and there are a lot of problems with comprehension.
We have presented above the main cases of aphasia but there are still many subtleties that we have not stated here. Many health professionals, such as neuropsychologists, neurologists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, psychomotricists and others, can diagnose help treat the different types of aphasia