Aphagia is the inability or refusal to swallow. The word is derived from the Ancient Greek prefix α, meaning “not” or “without,” and the suffix φαγία, derived from the verb φαγεῖν, meaning “to eat.” It is related to dysphagia which is difficulty swallowing (Greek prefix δυσ, dys, meaning difficult, or defective), and odynophagia, painful swallowing (from ὀδύνη, odyn(o), meaning “pain”). Aphagia may be temporary or long term, depending on the affected organ. It is an extreme, life-threatening case of dysphagia. Depending on the cause, untreated dysphagia may develop into aphagia.
Aphasia is an inability to comprehend or formulate language because of damage to specific brain regions. This damage is typically caused by a cerebral vascular accident (stroke), or head trauma; however, these are not the only possible causes. To be diagnosed with aphasia, a person’s speech or language must be significantly impaired in one (or several) of the four communication modalities following acquired brain injury or have significant decline over a short time period (progressive aphasia). The four communication modalities are auditory comprehension, verbal expression, reading and writing, and functional communication.
The difficulties of people with aphasia can range from occasional trouble finding words, to losing the ability to speak, read, or write; intelligence, however, is unaffected. Expressive language and receptive language can both be affected as well. Aphasia also affects visual language such as sign language. In contrast, the use of formulaic expressions in everyday communication is often preserved. One prevalent deficit in the aphasias is anomia, which is a deficit in word finding ability.The term aphasia implies that one or more communication modalities in the brain have been damaged and are therefore functioning incorrectly. Aphasia does not refer to damage to the brain that results in motor or sensory deficits, which produces abnormal speech; that is, aphasia is not related to the mechanics of speech but rather the individual’s language cognition (although a person can have both problems). An individual’s “language” is the socially shared set of rules as well as the thought processes that go behind verbalized speech. It is not a result of a more peripheral motor or sensory difficulty, such as paralysis affecting the speech muscles or a general hearing impairment.
Aphasia affects about 2 million people in the US and 250,000 people in Great Britain. Though nearly 180,000 people in the US acquire the disorder a year, 84.5% of people have never heard of the condition.
The condition of difficulty in swallowing.
A partial or total loss of language skills due to brain damage. Usually, damage to the left perisylvian region, including Broca’s area and Wernicke’s area, causes aphasia.
Medicine. Inability to swallow.
Chiefly Physiology. Inability, failure, or refusal to eat; absence or loss of the desire or need to eat; an instance of this.
inability (or impaired ability) to understand or produce speech, as a result of brain damage.