Aphasia is a condition that affects the brain’s ability to use language. Most commonly it is used as part of the term “acquired aphasia”, which indicates that a patient has developed aphasia after an accident or illness.

The condition can be broadly divided into three overarching categories – receptive aphasia (an inability to understand language as it is received), expressive aphasia (the inability to produce language, although the patient themselves may be unaware of this), and global aphasia (an inability to both produce and comprehend language).

See also Broca’s Aphasia, Wernicke’s Aphasia, Korsakoff’s Syndrome.


Aphasia is the inability to use language appropriately and may include problems speaking the language, hearing language, and reading language. Some with aphasia are able to read properly, but can’t speak the language, speak the language but not be able to read it or read letters but not numbers. Aphasia usually results from damage to parts of the brain such as Broca’s (speaking problems) area or Wernicke’s area (understanding language problems).

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