Neurology Now:
doi: 10.1097/01.NNN.0000405009.95048.5f
Departments: Letters

The ABCs of Aphasia

Woodward, Angela

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Sacramento, CA

Thank you for publishing “The ABCs of Aphasia” in the June/July 2011 issue. Due to epilepsy, I underwent surgical removal of portions of my left temporal lobe/amygdala/hippocampus in 2001 and lost access to most of my vocabulary. This was, of course, very disturbing; I was a former journalism major reduced to pointing and miming to communicate.

Fortunately, my intake was not damaged—only my output. I had no difficulty understanding language—spoken or written. I underwent speech therapy for a few months with moderate improvement.

Eventually I stumbled upon a “therapy”: reading (to myself) out loud. I quickly regained much of my speech. I still have difficulty accessing names, and if I'm tired I'll have trouble with nouns, but I can usually make myself understood even under those circumstances.

Perhaps other readers can also use this as a complement to their current treatment(s) for aphasia. Even now I occasionally read my newspaper out loud as practice.

Angela Woodward

Sacramento, CA

©2011 American Academy of Neurology

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