What is anomic aphasia?

Anomic aphasia is a rare complication of brain injury that results in difficulty remembering certain words, especially the names of people and objects. A person can usually describe a certain object in detail, but will be confused when trying to remember what it is called. The severity of the condition and specific symptoms may vary from patient to patient, but most patients have near-average reading, listening, writing, and comprehension skills. Treatment for anomic aphasia usually consists of long-term speech therapy and psychological counseling.

A person can potentially develop anomic aphasia or another type of cognitive disorder after suffering a stroke, head injury due to an accident, or, in rare cases, a serious brain infection. The most commonly involved brain area is the left temporal lobe, the center for language comprehension. An injury or injury to the frontal cortex, brainstem, or parietal lobe can also lead to the development of symptoms. Ongoing neuroscience research hopes to determine exactly how and why certain cognitive abilities are affected with particular injuries, while others are left intact.

The biggest problem most people with anomic aphasia face is communicating their thoughts quickly and effectively. For example, a patient who wants to borrow a pencil may not remember what the object is called and therefore cannot ask for it directly. Instead, he or she may take a long time to describe the object. Some people are better at describing thoughts than others because they can remember most of the words, such as paper, pen, or graphite, but not the main object in mind, the pencil. People with severe anomic aphasia may become speechless and use hand and body gestures to communicate.

It is often difficult for doctors to predict an accurate prognosis for anomic aphasia. Many people spontaneously regain their ability to name objects after a while. Others gradually improve their skills with months or years of speech therapy, which involves playing word games, keeping diaries, and learning advice from highly trained therapists. Regular meetings with a psychologist also help many people have an outlet to express frustrations, discuss goals, and find hope for the future.

In some cases, anomic aphasia remains a permanent disability, even with extensive treatment efforts. Victims depend on the sincere support and understanding of friends, family, and co-workers to learn how to fully enjoy life despite the condition. Most people can live and work independently as long as they are willing to be patient and positive.

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