Causes of Aphasia

What Causes Aphasia and Who Gets It?

Gabrielle Giffords aphasiaStroke is the most common cause of aphasia, but it can also be caused by traumatic brain injury (such as from a car crash or a gunshot wound) or disease processes such as tumours. Almost 25% of people who have a stroke will experience some degree of aphasia. Aphasia is seen approximately equally in men and women. Because stroke occurs more commonly in older individuals, we tend to see more aphasia in older people than in younger people. However, young adults, teens and even children can have a stroke or brain injury that results in aphasia.

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, shown here, famously developed aphasia after a gunshot wound to the head in January, 2011. Her interactions with her speech-language pathologist are described in her book “Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope”.

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