Post-stroke Aphasia

  • Marcelo L. BerthierEmail author
  • Guadalupe Dávila
  • Natalia García-Casares
  • Ignacio Moreno-Torres


Aphasia is a generic term used to describe a range of impairments in language function following acquired brain damage typically involving the left hemisphere [1–3]. Aphasia may affect all modes of expressive and receptive communication including speaking, understanding, writing, reading, and gesturing [1–3]. This definition seems superficial because it merely describes the surface behavioral deficits of aphasia (e.g., word-finding difficulty and reduced fluency) and mentions nothing about the underlying source of functional impairments. Some scientists prefer to describe aphasia as a multimodal impairment of the integral constituents of language, such as phonology, syntax, morphology, and lexical semantics [4]. Aphasia should not be regarded as a domain-specific language disorder because other cognitive skills (e.g., attention, learning, and memory and executive function) essential for normal processing of language are usually impaired as well. A growing body of evidence indicates that the adequate functioning of these nonlanguage cognitive functions is crucial for the recovery of aphasia and communication deficits [5]. This would imply that formal assessment of aphasia should not be restricted to the language domain; rather it needs to be expanded to include other cognitive and behavioral domains (see later). A new conceptualization of aphasia as a “discrete acquired disorder with a variety of aetiologies but specific characteristics” has been proposed as it provides a more informative viewpoint that may be useful to enhance public awareness of this still under-recognized condition [6]. In this chapter, we present an overview of acute and chronic post-stroke aphasia (PSA) covering epidemiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment.


Spontaneous Speech Language Deficit Arcuate Fasciculus Aphasic Patient Auditory Comprehension 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marcelo L. Berthier
    • 1
    Email author
  • Guadalupe Dávila
    • 2
  • Natalia García-Casares
    • 1
  • Ignacio Moreno-Torres
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Unit of Cognitive Neurology and AphasiaCentro de Investigaciones Médico-Sanitarias (CIMES), University of MalagaMalagaSpain
  2. 2.Department of PsychobiologyUniversity of MalagaMalagaSpain
  3. 3.Department of Spanish Language, PhilosophyUniversity of MalagaMalagaSpain

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