Aphasia-associated Anomia

Aphasia occurs when a person loses the ability to communicate in words. Anomia is a problem naming objects. When you have aphasia-associated anomia, it is difficult to name people and things. Aphasia-associated anomia can be treated.

  • Causes

    Anomia is caused by injury to the language areas of the brain. Examples of injury to the brain are:

    • Stroke—most common cause
    • Traumatic head injury
    • Brain tumor
    • Brain infection
    • Dementia
    • Other brain conditions

  • Definition

    Aphasia
    occurs when a person loses the ability to communicate in words. Anomia is a problem naming objects. When you have aphasia-associated anomia, it is difficult to name people and things.
    Aphasia-associated anomia can be treated.

    Stroke—Most Common Cause of Aphasia
    si1213 97870 1 Ischemic Stroke.jpg
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • Diagnosis

    Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. A neurological examination may also be done to check brain function.

    Images may be taken of structures inside your head. This can be done with:

    • CT scan—a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of structures inside the head
    • MRI scan—a test that uses magnetic waves to make pictures of structures inside the head

    Other exams may include:

    • Exam of muscles used in speech
    • Tests to assess language skills—for example, identifying objects, defining words, and writing


    In some situations, your brain activity may be need to be measured. This can be done with an
    electroencephalogram (EEG).

    You may be referred to a neurologist. This is a doctor who specializes in diseases of the nervous system.

  • Prevention

    Since stroke is a common cause of aphasia, follow these guidelines to help prevent stroke:

    • Exercise
      regularly.

    • Eat plenty of
      fruits and vegetables.
    • Limit salt
      and
      fat
      in your diet.

    • If you smoke,
      quit.
    • If you drink, do so in moderation.

    • Maintain a
      healthy weight.

    • Control your
      blood pressure.

    • Ask your doctor if you should take low-dose
      aspirin.

    • Properly treat and control chronic conditions, like
      diabetes.
    • If you have signs of a stroke, get help right away.

  • Risk Factors

    Factors that increase your chances of developing aphasia-associated anomia include:

    • Being at risk for stroke or dementia

    • Having a history of
      transient ischemic attacks
      (TIAs)
    • Increased age—more common in older people

  • Symptoms

    Tell your doctor if you have difficulty finding the right word when speaking and writing. For example, instead of using an exact word, you may use ambiguous or roundabout speech, such as:

    • Using general descriptions instead of specifics: “that place where you sleep” for “bedroom”
    • Saying what a thing does, but not what it is: “that thing you drive” for “car”

    In most cases, you can understand speech and read.

  • Treatment

    Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include the following: