What is Aphasia?

Aphasia (pronounced “a-fay-zha”) is an acquired communication disorder, typically the result of a stroke or brain injury, which affects peoples’ ability to speak, understand, read and/or write. By limiting individuals’ ability to engage in conversation, aphasia impacts all aspects of life including our roles and relationships with family, friends and work colleagues. Aphasia can result in a breakdown of relationships, social isolation, depression and a loss of employability. In many cases, individuals with aphasia retain their memory and intellectual capabilities.

Who is Affected by Aphasia?

There are over 100,000 Canadians living with aphasia today, and this number will grow significantly as our population continues to age. Aphasia is common after a stroke, initially affecting one in every three stroke survivors. Approximately 60% of stroke patients who initially present with aphasia will demonstrate ongoing communication difficulties a year or more later. In the Calgary area, this translates into roughly 275 additional persons each year living with chronic aphasia.

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