Aphasia in Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease can cause aphasia, which is a decrease in language function due to brain disease. Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive dementia that causes impaired memory, judgment, and general cognitive functions.

Aphasia in Alzheimer’s often begins with problems finding words, including difficulty choosing or remembering the correct word. Progress can affect a person’s ability to express themselves, and it can include understanding as well. Brain tumors, infections, and injuries can also lead to aphasia,

This article explains some of the characteristics, symptoms, and causes of aphasia. It also describes how to diagnose and treat aphasia.

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What is aphasia?

Aphasia is a language deficit caused by brain disease or brain damage. Its severity ranges, which means it can be so mild or severe that contact is nearly impossible. There are several types of aphasia, each caused by damage to a specific area of ​​the brain that controls certain features of language.

Aphasia is usually associated with stroke, head trauma, or dementia. It is rarely associated with other diseases, such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease. The situation takes many forms:

  • Dementia-related aphasia is gradual and is associated with other effects of dementia, such as personality changes and memory loss.
  • Aphasia from stroke occurs suddenly, when an area of ​​the brain is damaged due to a lack of blood supply.
  • Incarceration caused by head trauma can have fluctuating symptoms.

a summary

Aphasia is “an acquired communication disorder that impairs a person’s ability to deal with language… and impairs the ability to speak and understand others.” It does not affect intelligence.


Aphasia can present with difficulty in understanding and/or expressing. Dementia aphasia involves problems with word searches. This may cause the person to hesitate at length, mentally searching for the correct word before speaking.

Alternatively, when they try to speak, they may use an incorrect word that begins with the same letter of the requested word (“floor” instead of “flower” or “sack” instead of “sand”). Or they may describe the meaning of the word (“You know the thing on the wall with numbers and time”).

Word search aphasia may appear in:

  • Experiences “tip of the tongue”
  • Difficulty naming things or people
  • Poor understanding of spoken or written words
  • Poor ability to write or write the wrong words
  • hesitation in speaking

A person with early dementia may have more difficulty speaking than understanding. But sometimes, it’s hard to be sure. They may simply appear as if they understand (for example, by nodding their head).

Other early signs of Alzheimer’s dementia can also appear along with aphasia. These signs include forgetfulness, confusion, emotional outbursts, personality changes, and a sudden lack of inhibition.

a summary

Word search problems may cause a person with aphasia to hesitate at length and mentally search for the correct word before speaking.

When to seek medical help

Many adults can deal with the feeling of not being able to recall a word. They might call it “brain congestion” or “brain fog.” But if you notice this to your loved one happening more frequently, start writing down when and how often. Does it happen when they are tired, multitasking, or extremely stressed? Or does it happen when they are calm and relaxed?

If you see a pattern that is really interfering with their ability to communicate effectively, it may be helpful to ask a mutual acquaintance if they have noticed any changes in your loved one’s behavior before consulting a health care provider.

Its types and causes

Aphasia occurs when the areas of the brain that control language are damaged, making it difficult to speak, read and write. The four main types of aphasia are:

  • anomic . aphasiaor when someone finds it difficult to remember the correct word for things, places, or events
  • expressive aphasiaor when someone knows what they want to say but finds it difficult to say or write what they mean
  • global aphasia, Or when someone lacks the ability to speak, read, write or understand speech
  • receptive aphasia Or when someone hears someone speaking or reading something in print but can’t understand the words

Aphasia due to dementia is caused by progressive degeneration of cells in the frontal lobe and limbic system of the brain. These areas control memory, judgment, problem solving, and emotions. It generally does not follow the speech pattern of other types of aphasia.

With dementia, impairment of semantic memory (the memory for understanding and recognizing words) is an important contributor to word-search difficulties.

Primary progressive aphasia It is a specific type of dementia-related aphasia resulting from degeneration of the frontal and temporal regions. usually occurs in frontotemporal Dementia (FTD), as well as in Alzheimer’s disease. It starts gradually, usually with difficulty finding words and problems with naming and pronunciation. As it progresses, people have problems with comprehension, reading and writing. They may also lose their ability to speak.


Word search aphasia is a common symptom of early-stage Alzheimer’s disease, but there are other symptoms. Your doctor will ask you about your loved one’s symptoms and may want to talk to family members. Interestingly, aphasia affects a person’s second language before it begins to affect their first language.

The doctor will also consider your loved one’s basic language ability during the evaluation. For example, your loved one will be expected to demonstrate familiarity with words in his or her field of work. Forgetting words they are supposed to use often and easily can be a warning sign of dementia or aphasia. The evaluation may also include;

Multiple answers are possible

Unlike traditional exams that you may remember from school, there are several correct answers to some questions in the SAGE exam. The doctor must record the SAGE test.


Best Ways to Try to Prevent Aphasia Tips for preventing many other diseases. And they all boil down to one point: live a healthy lifestyle. In this case, the person close to you should focus on reducing the risk of stroke. By now, you may know the exercises:

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • I exercise regularly.
  • Quit smoking and drinking (if applicable).
  • Be proactive in keeping your blood sugar, cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure levels low.
  • Keep your brain active with activities like puzzles and word games.
  • Prevents falls and head injuries.

doing things

Exercise causes more blood to flow to the brain, which is a good thing. “Even a little bit of exercise each week is enough to boost cognitive function and prevent aphasia.”


If someone in your family is at risk of having a stroke, lifestyle factors and medications can reduce this risk. Even if the aphasia is only caused by dementia, having a stroke can significantly worsen symptoms.

Treatment for aphasia includes a multidisciplinary approach that may call for medication and therapy. A doctor can prescribe medication to treat dementia, which may help slow the progression of the disease.

Otherwise, aphasia is treated by working with a speech and language therapist to improve your loved one’s ability to communicate with others. This should be an ongoing process, especially if the underlying cause of the aphasia continues to progress.

The search continues

Researchers are studying two types of brain stimulation — transcranial magnetic stimulation and transcranial direct current stimulation — to help improve the ability to remember.


No one ever said it was easy to take care of or even be around someone whose communication skills falter. Being patient and supportive is the best coping strategy. For example:

  • Maintain eye contact and use a calm tone of voice.
  • Use short, simple words.
  • Don’t make guesses, underestimate word choices, or finish sentences. It’s easier than you think to disappoint someone with aphasia. Give your loved one time to talk.
  • Don’t roll your eyes, laugh, or show any other signs of impatience when you know your loved one is doing their best to connect.
  • Incorporate facial cues, gestures, and visual aids into communication rather than relying solely on words.
  • Ask for verbal and nonverbal clarification. For example, if someone in your family says that “figs” hurts, ask them if their finger hurts and point to them.
  • Do not argue, even if your loved one feeds you. Try to appreciate just being together, even when you’re not talking.

a summary

When all is said and done, “You may find that the best ways to communicate are through your presence, touch, and tone of voice.”


Aphasia occurs when areas of the brain that control language are damaged. This impairs the ability to speak and understand. Symptoms often include inability to understand spoken or written words and difficulty speaking or writing, and include the four main types of expressive aphasia (the person knows what they want to say but has difficulty saying or writing); receptive aphasia (when someone hears a sound or sees a fingerprint but cannot understand words); aphasia (difficulty using the correct word for things, places, or events); and global aphasia (when a person cannot speak, understand speech, read or write). Prevention and treatment of aphasia includes a multidisciplinary approach that may call for medication and therapy.

Word from Verywell

Aphasia can leave your loved one guessing, but you can eliminate one of the puzzles by taking your loved one for a hearing and vision check. If these senses deteriorate, your loved one may feel confused, irritable, or withdrawn too much. Hearing or vision faltering may also explain some of the behaviors you attribute to aphasia. In addition, hearing and vision problems are usually easy to improve.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Isn’t it common to use the wrong words as you get older?

    at all. Sometimes people use the wrong words when speaking because of mild dementia, strokes, or simple distraction. This can become more common as you get older.

  • What is it called when you have difficulty looking up words and use the wrong words when speaking?

    When this happens frequently, it is called atomic aphasia.

  • How do you deal with the difficulty of searching for words?

    You can work with a speech and language therapist. You can practice using more words when you speak and when you write. You can also read and talk to people on a variety of topics and listen to programs on topics that interest you to keep your vocabulary strong.

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