what is aphasia diagnosis?
One of Hollywood’s toughest heroes is facing a battle for his health now and stepping away from the cameras to do it Bruce Willis has retired from acting after it was made public that he has aphasia it’s a disorder that affects one’s ability to communicate and it had a lot of us asking what is aphasia diagnosis more do we need to know we’re going to take a deeper dive on that diagnosis with a neurologist.
Dr. Richard Isaacson director of Florida Atlantic university Alzheimer’s prevention clinic doctor so glad to have you with us so many of us were asking didn’t know anything about aphasia let alone even how to pronounce it so let’s just start with the basics of what exactly it is what are the symptoms what causes it and even more important is it curable.
Well, I’m really glad we’re having this conversation because millions of Americans are suffering from aphasia right now and most people had never even heard that word before so aphasia means problems with communication the inability to create sentences to create spoken language the inability to understand spoken language and people that have aphasia can have a mixed bag of these types of symptoms they may be able to understand what someone says.
But they may not be able to respond appropriately right back they may not be able to understand what other people say but they may be able to respond or it could be together so aphasia is an umbrella term that can include a variety of symptoms where people have trouble with speaking in short sentences they may not understand uh things and it causes a lot of confusion and cognitive decline so what exactly causes this do we know.
Well, aphasia is a general term that can be caused by several different categories of illnesses uh I think a lot of people have heard of heart attacks well there’s something called a brain attack or a stroke, and a stroke which could include either a blood clot in the brain or a bleeding stroke in the brain depending on where in the brain the blood is either limited from flowing or if there’s a bleed in a certain part of the brain that person can have a vascular cause of aphasia.
There’s a different type of aphasia called uh post-traumatic aphasia where someone can have a traumatic brain injury and if the part of the brain that’s responsible for speech is impacted they may not be able to speak or understand language and then finally there’s a host of neurodegenerative conditions that’s a big word but that means that the brain is declining neurodegenerative dementias depending on where they affect the brain can cause different types of aphasias.
So could this have been in any way tied to his career? I don’t know he’s done so many stunts right he’s done a lot of live-action films! could it be tied to that could it be tied to you knowing! what he’s consumed in his body over the years! or is it possible it could just be a genetic thing that is has happened well. These are great questions and the only way to figure this out is to have a well-qualified physician! take the necessary steps to doing a brain scan?
Make sure there’s not a brain tumor by doing blood tests! doing cognitive assessments and speech assessments it’s impossible! to truly understand what’s wrong in this case without having the entire picture! could head trauma through acting have caused. This sure could multiple head traumas have caused this sure but something vascular or neurodegenerative! also has to be thought about well we are going to follow his treatment. His therapy I hope you’ll come back and talk with us some more. Dr. Isaacs appreciate your time sure thanks for having me.