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Aphasia (perhaps better termed dysphasia) is an inability to comprehend and formulate language because of damage to the human brain. The damage will involve specific regions of the brain and is one of the common complications of a middle cerebral artery or anterior cerebral artery stroke where it will have sudden onset. It is open to intervention by speech rehabilitation in this last context, and from 2017 it is expected that increased resources will need to be identified over time to address the issue that traditional speech rehabilitation may not be intensive enough to provide optimal outcome for many affected stroke patients[1][2].

Impairment of the ability to produce (expressive aphasia) or comprehend (receptive aphasia) speech are the two classic divisions. Nominal aphasia is a form of expressive aphasia.

Expressive aphasia is different from dysarthria, where the words formed internally are correct, but the ability to articulate the words is impaired.

The further differential diagnosis of acute aphasia includes a long list of other left-hemisphere diseases (or right-hemisphere disease in true right hemisphere dominance) conditions. These include:

Progressive chronic aphasia over years has a more limited differential[3]: