Language difficulties are a common complication of traumatic brain injuries. While some language problems resolve over time, others are permanent. Most language difficulties in brain injury patients occur after the area of the brain that governs communication is damaged. Language problems can also occur as a result of motor problems or weaknesses.
Aphasia in Brain Injury Patients
A common language disorder, aphasia affects comprehension, speech and the ability to read and write. Brain injury patients with language difficulties most commonly experience one of the following types of aphasia:
- Global Aphasia: Brain injury patients suffering from global aphasia cannot read or write. They will also have trouble speaking and understanding speech. In some cases, symptoms of global aphasia in brain injury patients will improve as the patient heals.
- Broca’s Aphasia: Brain injury patients with Broca’s aphasia can understand speech and the written word. However, their speaking and writing is very limited. Because the brain injury patient is aware of their language problems, Broca’s aphasia can be very frustrating.
- Wernicke’s Aphasia: Brain injury patients suffering from Wernicke’s aphasia unknowingly speak in gibberish. They may also experience difficulty reading and writing.
- Anomic Aphasia: Brain injury victims experiencing anomic aphasia can read and comprehend speech, but have trouble speaking and writing.
If a brain injury patient’s language difficulties are a result of motor problems, they may experience:
- Apraxia: Brain injury survivors suffering from apraxia have trouble coordinating mouth and speech movements.
- Dysarthria: Patients experiencing dysarthria can think of the appropriate words to use, but brain damage prevents them from utilizing the muscles needed to form the words.
Help for Brain Injury Victims
Patients experiencing language difficulties after a traumatic brain injury should speak to their doctor about possible treatments. In most cases, a speech pathologist will design a rehabilitation program to help the patient with their language problems.
If you or a loved one is experiencing language problems following a brain injury, you may be eligible for compensation. Brain injury lawsuits have helped many victims pay for costly medical bills and treatments, as well as recover lost wages. If you have suffered a traumatic brain injury, fill out our free case evaluation on the right to speak to a brain injury lawyer today.