Aphasia: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 9/27/2019

Aphasia is a symptom of damage to parts of the brain that control language resulting in an inability to speak or having difficulty speaking. There are different types of aphasia. Aphasia may affect speaking, spoken language comprehension, reading comprehension, and written expression.

In addition to difficulty speaking, signs and symptoms of aphasia can include

  • jumbled speech,
  • persistent repetition of words,
  • having trouble finding the right word,
  • difficulty with the ability to write or draw,
  • using nonsense words, or
  • making up words.

Other associated symptoms can include

  • halting speech,
  • speaking in single words,
  • social isolation, and
  • making grammatical errors.

The symptoms of aphasia can vary in extent and severity depending upon the extent of brain damage.

Cause of aphasia

A stroke is the most common cause of aphasia.

Other aphasia symptoms and signs

  • Difficulty Speaking
  • Difficulty With the Ability to Write or Draw
  • Halting Speech
  • Having Trouble Finding the Right Word
  • Jumbled Speech
  • Making Grammatical Errors
  • Making Up Words
  • Persistent Repetition of Words
  • Social Isolation
  • Speaking in Single Words
  • Using Nonsense Words


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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.