Aphasias are conditions of the brain that impact a person’s communication abilities, particularly speech. Wernicke’s aphasia causes difficulty speaking in coherent sentences or understanding others’ speech. In this article we will discuss the causes of Wernicke’s aphasia .
Wernicke’s aphasia is the most common type of fluent aphasia. It occurs when the left middle side of the brain becomes damaged or altered. This part of the brain is known as Wernicke’s area, named after Carl Wernicke, a neurologist. Wernicke’s area of the brain controls human language. It’s also near where we store our personal dictionaries. Someone with Wernicke’s aphasia may have difficulty processing the meaning of spoken words.
Symptoms of Wernicke’s aphasia
Regarding speech and comprehension, people with Wernicke’s aphasia may:
- string words together to make sentences that don’t make sense
- makeup words that have no meaning
- be unaware of the mistakes in their speech
- deliver words in a normal melodic line, even though the content may not make any sense
- articulate their words normally
- have difficulty repeating phrases
- add words when trying to repeat someone
- interrupt others and speak rapidly
Difficulty with spoken language may not carry over to other aspects of brain functioning. Aphasia is different from a disease like Alzheimer’s, in which many of the brain’s functions diminish over time. Those with Wernicke’s aphasia may:
- have severely impaired reading and writing ability
- understand visual materials better than written or spoken words
- maintain cognitive abilities other than those associated with language