In detail

Global aphasia, what are its main characteristics?

Global aphasia, what are its main characteristics?

We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

When we talk about aphasia, we talk about language. This concept, so unknown to many, has a significant impact on those who suffer from it. It is a pathology that affects language. However, it will depend on the type of aphasia that some aspects of language are more altered than others. Throughout this article the main alterations of global aphasia and its evolution will be addressed.

Among the best known aphasias, is theBroca's aphasia and of Wernicke. In global aphasia expressive and receptive functions are seriously altered, that is, both expression and understanding are affected. A generalized language disorder occurs.


  • 1 Alterations of global aphasia
  • 2 Cognitive Profile
  • 3 What does Global Aphasia produce?
  • 4 Evolution of Global Aphasia

Alterations of global aphasia

Speech production

Severely altered speech production is observed. There is difficulty in pronouncing concepts such as man, direction, etc. At the same time, the affected person can give "yes" or "no" answers, but in many cases the answer does not correspond to what is asked.

Spontaneous verbal production

A stereotyped expression is detected, that is, repeat the same verbal expression over and over again. Example: "Well, then me, well me."


The prosody It is related to the correct intonation and pronunciation of words and phrases. In the case of patients with global aphasia, prosody maintains adequate levels. If they are given the first syllable of a word, they are able to say the following. For example, if the patient is told, "I have ham ..."; the patient can complete the word: "bre".

Overlearned Sequences

In the same way that the articulation in the stereotyped expression is correct, in oversold sequences such as the days of the week is impossible. It presents an imprecise and forced joint.

Oral language comprehension

It is limited to a few words. Understanding sentences or small texts is almost impossible. This leads to it being highly complicated to obey orders such as "lift one foot".


The repetition of vowels is appreciated and, in a very isolated way, repetition of syllables.


When a specific object is shown to a patient with global aphasia and is asked to say what it is, the name of the object is almost impossible. Some success has been found in those objects that are familiar to you and the word to name them is short. They also improve the name phonetic aids.


Both the reading aloud as reading comprehension are nonexistent.

Cognitive profile

Despite the difficulty of evaluating a patient with global aphasia, some aspects are highlighted at the cognitive level. Arnedo, Bembibre and Treviño (2012) point out that "the breadth of work memory visual is preserved, as well as the discrimination of forms and the perception of faces ".

These authors also describe that retrograde and antegrade memory remains intact. Highlight certain impulsivity in patients and some repetitive behaviors. At the same time, they also point out that patients present some indifference to his state.

What produces Global Aphasia?

The main cause of global aphasia are the strokes that affect the left middle cerebral artery. As Damasio and Damasio (2000) affirm, this lesion can affect "to the entire perisilvian region of the dominant hemisphere, as well as the inferoposterior region of the frontal lobe, the basal ganglia, the insula, the auditory cortex and the posterior superior region of the temporal lobe".

As highlighted by Arnedo, Bembibre and Triviño (2012), "the usual correlate of global aphasia entails the lesion of the precentral and postcentral areas, that is, of the motor and somatosensory areas". For this reason, global aphasia is usually accompanied by hemiplegia and right hemihypoesthesia. Hemianopia is also frequent, that is, the total or partial involvement of the right visual field.

Evolution of Global Aphasia

The evolution of this type of aphasia is not very promising. The evolution is improved if the initial diagnosis is very early. Some authors claim that this type of aphasia can be maintained or lead to another type of aphasia. Kertesz and McCabe (1977) found that 22% of the patients in their research maintained global aphasia with some improvement. 35% derived from aphasia from Broca. 22% evolved to an anomic aphasia and 7% to a Wernicke aphasia.

These authors point out that This type of aphasia is usually the worst prognosis. Despite this, Sarno and Levita (1979), affirm that there are improvements in the communication capacity of patients and in the performance of specific tasks.

Final conclusion

Due to the impact that this type of pathologies have on the quality of life of patients, It is of the utmost importance that the research take its course. What we find difficult today to improve, maybe tomorrow may have a much more favorable evolution.

However, as research advances and brings us new techniques to improve the quality of life of patients, it is essential not to be discouraged. The motivation, the work and the effort in the recovery of this type of pathologies is fundamental to achieve an improvement.


  • Arnedo, M., Bembibre, J. and Triviño, M. (2012). Neuropsychology: through clinical cases. Spain: Pan American Medical Editorial.
  • Damasio, A. and Damasio, H. (2000). Chapter: Aphasia and the neural basis of language. In: Mesulam, M: Principles of behavioral and cognitive neurology. Oxfort: Oxfort University Press.
  • Kertesz, A. and McCabe, P. (1977). Recovery patterns and prognosis in aphasia. Brain, 100, 1-18.
  • Sarno, M. and Levita, E. (1979). Recovery in treated aphasia in the first year post-stroke. Stroke, 10, 663-670.