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Aphasia is a language disorder that results from damage to portions of the brain that are responsible for language. For most people, these are parts of the left side (hemisphere) of the brain. Aphasia usually occurs suddenly, often as the result of a stroke or head injury, but it may also develop slowly, as in the case of a brain tumor. The disorder impairs both the expression and understanding of language as well as reading and writing. Aphasia may co-occur with speech disorders such as dysarthria or apraxia of speech, which also result from brain damage.
have damage to the frontal lobe of the brain. These individuals frequently speak in short, meaningful phrases that are produced with great effort. Individuals with Broca's aphasia are able to understand the speech of others to varying degrees. Because of this, they are often aware of their difficulties and can become easily frustrated by their speaking problems.
have damage to the temporal lobe of the brain. Individuals with Wernicke's aphasia may speak in long sentences that have no meaning, add unnecessary words. Individuals with Wernicke's aphasia usually have great difficulty understanding speech and are therefore often unaware of their mistakes.
results from damage to extensive portions of the language areas of the brain. Individuals with global aphasia have severe communication difficulties and may be extremely limited in their ability to speak or comprehend language.
results from damage to various parts of the parietal lobe or the temporal lobe of the brain. Individuals with anomic aphasia have difficulty in using the correct names for particular objects, people, places, or events.
Source: National Institute of Health, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. www.nidcd.nih.gov
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