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Common-Classifications-of-Aphasia (1)

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Classification of Aphasia
Nonfluent
Fluent
Speech production is halting and effortful.
Grammar is impaired; content words may be preserved.
Person is able to produce connected speech.
Sentence structure is relatively intact but lacks meaning.
Language comprehension
relatively intact
Broca’s Aphasia: repetition of
words/phrases poor
Transcortical Motor Aphasia:
strong repetition skills; may
have difficulty spontaneously
answering questions
Language comprehension
impaired
Global Aphasia: severe
expressive and receptive
language impairment; may be
able to communicate using
facial expression, intonation,
and gestures
Language comprehension
relatively intact
Language comprehension
impaired
Conduction Aphasia: word
finding difficulties; difficulty
repeating phrases
Wernicke’s Aphasia:
repetition of words/phrases
poor
Anomic Aphasia: repetition
of words/phrases good; word
finding difficulties; uses
generic fillers (e.g., “thing”) or
circumlocution
Transcortical Sensory
Aphasia: repetition of
words/phrases good; may
repeat questions rather than
answering them (“echolalia”)
This figure describes various aphasia types, using a classification system based on characteristics of verbal expression (nonfluent or fluent; Davis, 2007; Goodglass & Kaplan, 1972).
Crossed aphasia and subcortical aphasia are considered “exceptional aphasias,” as they do not fit neatly within this or other common classification systems. Crossed aphasia occurs
when a person demonstrates language impairment after suffering damage to the hemisphere on the dominant side of the body, rather than the alternate side. Thus, a right handed
person who develops aphasia following a right hemisphere stroke exhibits crossed aphasia. Subcortical aphasia results from damage to subcortical regions of the brain (e.g., thalamus
or basal ganglia), and symptoms can mirror those that arise from cortical lesions.
Primary progressive aphasia (PPA)—despite its name—is a type of dementia. It is characterized by gradual loss of language function in the context of relatively well-preserved
memory, visual processing, and personality until the advanced stages (Mesulam, 2001; Rogers, 2004). For more information about PPA, see ASHA’s Practice Portal page on Dementia.
Davis, G. A. (2007). Aphasiology: Disorders and clinical practice (2nd ed.). Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Goodglass, H., & Kaplan, E. (1972). The assessment of aphasia and related disorders. Philadelphia, PA: Lea & Febiger.
Mesulam, M. (2001). Primary progressive aphasia. Annals of Neurology, 49, 425-432.
Rogers, M. (2004). Aphasia, primary progressive. In R. D. Kent (Ed.), The MIT encyclopedia of communication disorders (pp. 245-249).
Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
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