What is aphasia?
Aphasia is a language disorder that makes it hard for you to read, write, and say what you mean to say. Sometimes it makes it hard to understand what other people are saying, too. Aphasia is not a disease. It's a symptom of damage to the parts of the brain that control language.
The signs of aphasia depend on which part of the brain is damaged. There are four main types of aphasia:
In some cases, aphasia may get better on its own. But it can be a long-term condition. There's no cure, but treatment may help improve language skills.What causes aphasia?
Aphasia happens from damage to one or more parts of the brain involved with language. The damage may be from:
Anyone can have aphasia at any age, but most people with aphasia are middle-aged or older. Most aphasia happens suddenly from a stroke or brain injury. Aphasia from a brain tumor or other brain disorder may develop slowly over time.How is aphasia diagnosed?
If a health care provider sees signs of aphasia, the provider will usually:
If imaging shows signs of aphasia, more tests may be needed. These tests measure how much the brain damage has affected the ability to talk, read, write, and understand. In most cases, the tests are done by a speech-language pathologist or speech therapist (a specialist who treats speech and communication disorders).What are the treatments for aphasia?
Some people fully recover from aphasia without treatment. But most people should begin speech-language therapy to treat aphasia as soon as possible.
Treatment may be one-on-one with a speech therapist or in a group. Therapy using a computer may also be helpful.
The specific therapy depends on the type of language loss that a person has. It may include exercises in reading, writing, following directions, and repeating what the therapist says. Therapy may also include learning how to communicate with gestures, pictures, smartphones, or other electronic devices.
Family participation may be an important part of speech therapy. Family members can learn to help with recovery in many ways, such as:
How much a person recovers depends on many things, including:
You can help prevent aphasia by:
NIH: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
Assisted living is housing and services for people who need some help with daily care. They may need help with things like dressing, bathing, taking their medicines, and cleaning. But they do not need the medical care that a nursing home provides. Assisted living allows the residents to live more independently.
Assisted living facilities sometimes have other names, such as adult care facilities or residential care facilities. They vary in size, with as few as 25 residents up to 120 residents or more. The residents usually live in their own apartments or rooms and share common areas.
The facilities usually offer a few different levels of care. Residents pay more for the higher levels of care. The types of services they offer may be different from state to state. The services may include:
The residents are usually older adults, including those with Alzheimer's or other types of dementia. But in some cases, residents may be younger and have mental illnesses, developmental disabilities, or certain medical conditions.
NIH: National Institute on Aging
What is atrial fibrillation (AFib)?
Atrial fibrillation, also known as AFib or AF, is one of the most common types of arrhythmias. Arrhythmias are problems with the rate or rhythm of your heartbeat. They can cause your heart to beat too slowly, too fast, or in an irregular way.
If you have AFib, your heart beats irregularly and sometimes much faster than normal. Also, your heart's upper and lower chambers do not work together as they should. When this happens, the lower chambers do not fill completely or pump enough blood to your lungs and body. This can cause symptoms such as dizziness, fatigue, and a pounding heartbeat.
AFib may happen in brief episodes, or it may be a permanent condition. It's very important to treat it, since AFib can put you at risk for stroke and other heart conditions.What causes atrial fibrillation (AFib)?
AFib is most often caused by changes to the heart's tissue or the electrical signaling that helps the heartbeat. These changes can happen due to different conditions and factors, such as high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, congenital heart defects, infections, and aging. Sometimes the cause is unknown.Who is more likely to develop atrial fibrillation (AFib)?
Anyone can develop AFib, but there are certain things that raise your risk for it:
Some people who have AFib don't have any symptoms and don't know they have it. If you do have symptoms, you may only notice them once in a while. Or you may have symptoms that are more frequent. And in some cases, the symptoms might be severe. If you have heart disease, you are more likely to notice your symptoms. And those symptoms could get worse if your heart disease gets worse.
The symptoms of AFib can include:
If AFib is not treated, it can lead to serious health problems (complications) such as:
To help prevent these problems, it's important to contact your health care provider if you are having symptoms. If you do have AFib, the sooner you are diagnosed and treated, the better.How is atrial fibrillation (AFib) diagnosed?
To find out if you have AFib, your provider:
The treatments for AFib may include:
There are steps you can take to help lower your risk of atrial fibrillation, such as:
NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Your brain is the control center of your body. It controls your thoughts, memory, speech, and movement. It regulates the function of many organs. It's part of your nervous system, which also includes your spinal cord and peripheral nerves. The nervous system sends signals between your brain and the rest of the body. Your nerves take in information from your senses and send it to the brain to be processed. Your brain and nerves also communicate to help you move and to control your body's functions.
When the brain is healthy, it works quickly and automatically. But when you have a brain disease, it may affect how well you can function and do your daily activities. Some common brain diseases include:
The symptoms of brain diseases vary widely, depending on the specific problem. In some cases, damage is permanent. In other cases, treatments such as surgery, medicines, or therapies such as physical, occupational, and speech therapies, may cure the disease or improve the symptoms.
A caregiver gives care to someone who needs help taking care of themselves. The person who needs help may be a child, an adult, or an older adult. They may need help because of an injury or disability. Or they may have a chronic illness such as Alzheimer's disease or cancer.
Some caregivers are informal caregivers. They are usually family members or friends. Other caregivers are paid professionals. Caregivers may give care at home or in a hospital or other health care setting. Sometimes they are caregiving from a distance. The types of tasks that caregivers do may include:
Caregiving can be rewarding. It may help to strengthen connections to a loved one. You may feel fulfillment from helping someone else. But caregiving may also be stressful and sometimes even overwhelming. You may be "on call" for 24 hours a day. You may also be working outside the home and taking care of children. So you need to make sure that you are not ignoring your own needs. You have to take care of your own physical and mental health as well. Because when you feel better, you can take better care of your loved one. It will also be easier to focus on the rewards of caregiving.
Dept. of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health