Tuesday, October 6, 2009

What Is A Stroke?

Expressive aphasia commonly occurs in patients who have experienced a stroke. Most people have head the term stroke used many times, but may not know exactly what a stroke entails. I am one of those people so I decided to do some research on the topic to get a better understanding as to why a stroke would cause someone to suffer from expressive aphasia. A stroke occurs when a blood clot forms in  blood vessel or artery, therefore brain cells begin to die thus causing brain damage. Depending on what area of the brain is damaged, there will be different effects from a stroke. In the case of patients suffering from aphasia, the speech section of their brain (shown to the right in orange). More that 2/3 of people who suffer from a stroke will experience some sort of disability afterwards. Here is a video of a man who suffered from a stroke, and as a result developed expressive aphasia. You can see the effects that a stroke have on this man, even after 7 years.


Monday, October 5, 2009

Aphasia Bill of Rights

On September 25, 2005 an Aphasia Bill of Rights was published by the National Aphasia Association, stating all of the rights that patients suffering from aphasia have. You may wonder why this was necessary, as did I, but as I read this website I learned that many people suffering from aphasia are never properly diagnosed and are unaware that what they are experiencing is an actual medical condition. Because of this, many patients would not receive benefits from their health care providers and would not receive the proper care necessary to improve their condition. The Executive Board of the National Aphasia Association (NAA) recognized this problem and therefore decided to set forth a bill of rights for those suffering from aphasia. These Bill of Rights state that people suffering from aphasia have the right to:
  1. Be immediately informed of their condition in a way in which they understand their condition and what the implications are. 
  2. Have written documentation of their condition upon release from the hospital.
  3. Be informed of all resources available to them, both locally and nationally.
  4. Have outpatient therapy available as deemed necessary by a certified speech pathologist.
  5. Be informed if they are participating in a research project and give consent to the participation.
  6. Demand benefits from health care providers and health care facilities. 
  7. Have access to all of the information they are receiving through a speech therapist or otherwise qualified personnel, taking into account all cultural and language barriers that may be present. 

What Is Expressive Aphasia?

The website below gives a good general overview of what expressive aphasia is, it's causes, and known treatments. Expressive Aphasia is the inability to communicate with others through speech and written language. It is caused by damage to the brain, which can be caused by things such as strokes, head trauma, brain tumors, or dementia. The most effective treatment for this is to immediately start speech therapy. The treatment is very extensive, and generally patients will recover language skills but never fully regain the skills that involve expression. The following website gives a list of other websites that have more in depth information about expressive aphasia, including where and how to get help.