yes, therapy helps!
Broca's aphasia: symptoms and causes of this disorder

Broca's aphasia: symptoms and causes of this disorder

April 10, 2024

Given that the brain controls or supervises a large part of the functions of our organism, the damage in different regions of this structure can cause very varied alterations. Aphasias are a type of linguistic disorder that occurs as a result of injuries in the brain areas related to language.

In this article we will describe the symptoms and causes of Broca's aphasia , expressive, motor or production. This neuropsychological disorder consists in the alteration of the expressive language as a consequence of damages in the frontal lobe, although the auditory comprehension is not necessarily affected, as it happens in other types of aphasia.

  • Related article: "The 8 types of speech disorders"

What is aphasia?

Aphasias are language alterations that appear because of injuries in certain regions of the brain, mainly due to traumatic brain injuries and strokes, also called strokes or strokes. The term is based on classical Greek and is translated as "inability to speak".

There are different types of aphasia that are characterized by idiosyncratic combinations of alterations in four linguistic domains: verbal comprehension, oral expression, functional communication and literacy . Most of them share the presence of anomie, which consists of persistent difficulty to recover words from memory.

Other common signs and symptoms of aphasias are articulatory and sympathetic deficits, reduced spontaneous language, inability to read and / or write, dysprosody (alterations in the tone and rhythm of speech) and the use of neologisms (in psychopathology, words that only have meaning for those who say them).

Therefore the aphasias they do not only affect the spoken language, but also the writing and the mime , including sign language. This is because all these forms of communication depend on the same cognitive functions, related to brain structures and pathways that are damaged in aphasia.

  • Related article: "Aphasias: the main language disorders"

Symptoms and signs of Broca's aphasia

The basic signs of Broca's aphasia are related to the production of speech. People with this syndrome have severe difficulties in finding words and in articulating sentences in a fluid way, and the prosody of the speech is also affected, which causes the speech to be monotonous. The writing is equally affected.

In the context of this disorder there is frequent talk of "telegraphic speech" to make reference to the way of expressing oneself of those who suffer it: they make many pauses because they have many difficulties to articulate (or gesticulate) words that are not of content, that is to say, they communicate mainly by means of sequences of nouns and verbs.

The intensity of these symptoms depends on the severity of the injury; while in some cases only mild anomie appear, moderate reductions in expressive fluency and the phenomenon of "foreign accent", in others the person may be unable to utter any words. In most cases at least the most formulaic expressions are retained.

Given that the regions related to Broca's aphasia are involved in motor skills, it is not surprising that the brain lesions that cause it also cause motor signs. Highlights include hemiparesis (paralysis in one half of the body), apraxia (deficit in proactive movements) and dysarthria, which affects the pronunciation .

In a synthetic way we can say that the main characteristics of Broca's aphasia are the following:

  • Lack of fluidity of spontaneous language
  • Alterations in writing
  • Maintenance of listening and reading comprehension
  • Deficit in the repetition of words
  • Problems remembering words, such as names of objects (anomie)
  • Associated motor disorders (dysarthria, apraxia, hemiparesis)

Causes of this disorder

Broca's aphasia appears as a consequence of lesions in the anterior part of the brain, especially in the frontal lobe of the left hemisphere, which plays a more relevant role than the right in the execution of movements, including those that are necessary for speech and writing.

Although the name of the disorder is associated with area 44 of Brodmann , known as "Broca's area" , the damages that are limited to this brain region cause only linguistic symptoms and mild motors. The most severe manifestations appear when the lesion extends to surrounding areas, such as the anterior insula, the precentral gyrus, and the opercular region.

The most common cause of Broca's aphasia are ischemic strokes, which consist in the interruption of blood flow, and therefore oxygen, to a certain area of ​​the brain. In this case, the regions affected by hypoperfusion of oxygen are those mentioned in the previous paragraph.

With some frequency, the brain lesions that cause this type of aphasia are due to other reasons; The most frequent are traumatic brain injuries, cerebral hemorrhages , brain tumors located near language areas and extradural hematomas (accumulations of blood or other fluids between the meninges and the skull).

  • Maybe you're interested: "The treatment of dyslexia: 4 tips for parents"

Aphasia Causes and Symptoms with Dr. Altahfullah - June 8, 2015 KARE11 (April 2024).

Similar Articles