Definition

Alexic anomia happens when you lose your ability to understand written words. You can no longer read and name words. This is a type of receptive aphasia, which is a language disorder that involves difficulty understanding spoken or written language. It is caused by the brain not functioning correctly. This is a serious condition that may change over time, depending on the cause.

Stroke—Most Common Cause of Alexic Anomia

si1213_97870_1_Ischemic Stroke.jpg

Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Causes

Alexic anomia is caused by damage to the language areas of the brain, for example:

    
  • Stroke , which is the most common cause
  • Severe blow to the head
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Brain tumor
  • Brain infection
  • Other brain conditions
  • Risk Factors

    Alexic anomia is more common in older people. Other factors that may increase your chance of alexic anomia include:

        
  • Increasing age
  • Being at risk for stroke or dementia
  • Having a history of transient ischemic attacks (TIAs)
  • Symptoms

    Symptoms include:

        
  • Inability to read with understanding
  • Ability to write, but not read what you have written
  • Diagnosis

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

    Imaging tests are used to evaluate the brain and other structures. These may include:

        
  • CT scan
  • MRI scan
  • PET scan
  • You may be referred to a neurologist. This is a doctor who specializes in diseases of the nervous system.

    Treatment

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

        
  • Speech-language therapy—to help you use your ability to communicate, regain lost abilities, learn to make up for language problems, and learn other methods to communicate
  • Counseling —to help you cope with your condition and help your family learn how to communicate with you
  • Individualized rehabilitation program—to focus on what caused your condition
  • 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, talk to your doctor about how to successfully quit.
  • If you drink, do so in moderation. Moderation is 2 or less drinks per day for men and 1 or less drinks per day for women.
  • 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, call for emergency medical services right away.