Tuesday, September 09, 2014

They know what they want to say ...

My words: towrith, rithe, rice.

And I was trying to say "Jonesboro."

That's what happened as a result of my stroke in 1998. My wife had asked me to say the word Jonesboro, a northeast Arkansas city I'd recently visited, and that's how it came out: towrith, rithe, rice. I knew what I wanted to say, but just couldn't say it. Intelligent wasn't affected - just the connection between thought and actual speech.

Thus began my education about aphasia and stroke results. And many, many stroke patients have language difficulties.

So, I watch out for news about aphasia and ran across a recent article about recovering language after a stroke:
“People refer to it as kind of being in a prison because they have the words. They retain their knowledge and intellect,” says Ellayne Ganzfried, executive director of the National Aphasia Association in New York. “They know what it is they want to say, but they can’t access it the way they used to.”
Ganzfried estimates that between 25 and 40 percent of stroke victims suffer from aphasia, a condition that can also result from brain tumors or other neurological disorders. With stroke victims, various levels of communication can be affected, depending on what part of the brain was most damaged and how significant the stroke was, adds Michelle Troche, director of clinical science research at the University of Florida Health Upper Airway Dysfunction Lab.
“Aphasia is when someone has trouble coming up with words, grammar, comprehension … There can also be the speech problem,” Ganzfried adds. “It’s not as crisp because of weakness in the muscles.”
A good article that might help others understand the problem - when the thought process is still intact but the speech process is interrupted.


J.L. Murphey said...

great article!

Jeff Porter said...

Thanks! Aphasia is so misunderstood in most circles.