May 23, 2022

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What is aphasia and how does it affect communication: NPR

What is aphasia and how does it affect communication: NPR

Bruce Willis attends the “Motherless Brooklyn” premiere during the 57th New York Film Festival at Alice Tully Hall on October 11, 2019, in New York. The Willis family announced that the actor developed aphasia, which made him quit acting at the age of 67.

Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images


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Legendary actor Bruce Willis announced on Wednesday that Exit from the big screen His family said in statment.

While the details of why Willis aphasia is diagnosed are unknown at the moment, medical experts stress the importance of the brain condition and how specifically it should be treated — depending on its severity.

“[At some point]Dr. Swathi Kiran, professor of neurorehabilitation at Boston University, told NPR that people will know someone who has had a stroke and has aphasia.

Aphasia is defined as a cognitive condition that affects the ability to speak, write, and understand language, according to Mayo Clinic. The brain disorder can occur after strokes or head injuries — and in some cases, it can lead to dementia.

“As a result of this and with a great deal of interest, Bruce is walking away from a career that meant so much to him,” said his daughter, Rumer Willis. Instagram. “This is a challenging time for our family and we deeply appreciate your continued love, sympathy and support.”

It affects the way a person communicates

Medical experts say the effects of aphasia can vary depending on a person’s diagnosis. But fundamentally, the condition affects a person’s ability to communicate – whether it’s written, spoken, or both.

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People with aphasia may experience changes in their ability to communicate; As they may have difficulty finding words, using words out of order or even speaking in a short way, according to American Hearing-Speech-Language Association.

Dr. Jonathan Leibovitz, a neurologist who specializes in the surgical treatment of diseases of the brain and spine at novance health In western Connecticut, he told NPR that a person’s condition depends on the exact part of the brain that is affected.

“In most patients with aphasia, it is a symptom of a larger medical problem,” Leibovitz said.

Diagnosis of aphasia is more common than you think

according to National Aphasia Associationa communication disorder affects nearly two million people in the United States, where it is more common than Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, or muscular dystrophy.

Approximately 180,000 people in the United States acquire the condition each year. Most people with aphasia are middle-aged or older, with the average age of people with the condition being 70 years old. But anyone, including young children, can get it.

“Once you are over 60-65 years old, there is a higher chance of having a stroke and aphasia (or being diagnosed with it),” Kiran said.

The most common cause of aphasia in Americans is stroke – approximately 25-40% of stroke survivors have it. People can also develop aphasia as a result of a head injuryBrain tumor or degenerative process.

“It really depends on the exact reason one has aphasia and that will determine the long-term outlook and possibly some initial treatment,” Leibovitz said.

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Treatment for aphasia focuses on the symptoms

Fortunately, aphasia treatment options are already possible.

Traditionally, most people undergo some form of speech and language therapy to restore their communication skills. Kiran said this type of treatment is a big part of what medical experts can do to help someone recover.

“The road to rehabilitation or treatment can be long and difficult, but it is possible for people to get better,” she said.

In addition, there are ongoing clinical trials that use brain stimulation and may help improve an individual’s ability to regain skills, Kiran says. However, no long-term research has been conducted so far.