Offering Aid in the Vetting, Evaluation, and Treatment of Aphasia Patients

February 26, 2020
treatment of aphasia

With almost 800,0001 Americans suffering one each year, strokes are the fifth2 leading cause of death, resulting in about 140,000 fatalities in the United States annually. But, for the multitudes who do survive, long-term disabilities can result.

At least one-third3 of strokes result in aphasia, making the evaluation and treatment of the condition critical for caregivers.

Impairment of Language

Aphasia results4 from damage to the areas of the brain that are responsible for language, altering a person’s ability to understand, speak, read or write. Aphasia can be mild, affecting only a single aspect of language, such as the capacity to string words together into sentences or the ability to retrieve the names of certain objects, or more serious, impairing multiple communication aspects and making it difficult or even impossible to communicate with a patient.

Strokes are not the only cause of aphasia. Traumatic brain injuries, brain tumors, progressive brain disorders, and even infections can lead to aphasia. Aphasia typically occurs suddenly, often as a result of a stroke or head injury, but aphasia can also develop slowly, as is sometimes the case with a brain tumor.

Diagnosing and Treating Aphasia

Usually, when a treating physician recognizes possible aphasia symptoms (trouble speaking, using strange or inappropriate words in a conversation, etc.) in a patient, the physician will perform tests that require the person to follow commands, answer questions, name objects, and exchange dialogue.

If aphasia is suspected, the provider often refers the sufferer to a speech-language pathologist (SLP) who conducts a more thorough set of testing to determine the person’s ability to understand, speak, read and write, and establish the best course of therapy. While some patients completely recuperate from aphasia without treatment, recovering their language abilities in just a few hours or days, in the majority of cases, recovery is not as rapid or as complete.

Further, some aphasia patients may regain only partial language capabilities. Typically, recovery continues over a 24-month period, with factors such as the age and health of the patient, the cause of brain damage, the area of the brain damaged, and the extent of harm to the brain affecting each individual’s ability to redevelop their language skills.

While restoring full communication abilities after brain damage isn’t always possible, aphasia therapy can be instrumental in improving a patient’s ability to communicate, with the most effective treatment beginning at the onset of an aphasia diagnosis. Speech-language therapy strives to restore an individual’s language capabilities as much as possible, encouraging the person to compensate for language problems through the use of their remaining abilities and to learn other communication methods as well.

Products for Screening, Assessing, and Rehabilitating Aphasia Patients

Whether you’re a physician, SLP, caregiver or family member, AliMed offers a full range of products that can aid in both aphasia evaluation and recovery.

  • Aphasia Screens: Containing an examiner's manual, stimulus cards/letter board, 25 record forms and carrying case, our Aphasia Diagnostic Profiles (ADP) kit includes nine brief subtests that create composite scores, as well as profiles, that address critical areas of the patient's performance, providing a quick, efficient, and systematic method of assessing language and communication impairment associated with aphasia.
  • Aphasia Assessments: Containing an examiner's manual, picture book, 25 profile/examiner record forms, additional materials kit (tokens, chart, envelopes), and storage box, our Assessment of Language-Related Functional Activities consists of 10 subtests, each of which assesses a different functional activity, enabling a comprehensive evaluation in just 30 to 90 minutes.
  • Aphasia Rehabilitation: Including straightforward and detailed instructions that can be used in therapy or in carryover activities at home, our Speech Therapy Aphasia Rehabilitation Workbooks are full of exercises to improve expressive and receptive language.

AliMed also offers several Aphasia and Stroke Resources:

  • Our best-selling Everyday Activities to Sequence, an all-in-one tool that includes 80 full-color photo cards featuring 20 functional sequenced activities that demonstrate the natural sequence of everyday tasks, helps aphasia patients improve sequencing, organizational, oral language, communication, and critical thinking skills.
  • Helping families to understand the difficult and unfamiliar concepts about aphasia, our Aphasia: Guide for Patients and Family, developed by Interactive Therapeutics, provides valuable information including definitions, causes, characteristics, treatment considerations, accompanying problems, management suggestions for the family, and community resources.
  • The versatile Language Activities Resource Kit (LARK-2) provides a collection of objects, photographs, illustrations, and print materials that draw from various methods and techniques to restore the ability to communicate effectively.

Celebrating 50 Years of “Helping People… Help People

Since 1970, AliMed has built a solid reputation as both a manufacturer and distributor of unique healthcare products specifically designed to improve patient outcomes and experiences—from hospital to home. Today, AliMed continues to serve hospitals, long-term care facilities, surgery centers, distributors, physician offices, home caregivers, and more with trusted, innovative solutions such as aphasia products and other speech therapy tools, operating room supplies, fall management, rehabilitation products, radiation protection, orthopedic solutions, and more.

To learn more about our products, visit AliMed today.




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