When a stroke injures the frontal regions of the left hemisphere, different kinds of language problems can occur. This part of the brain is important for putting words together to form complete sentences. The most common type of aphasia that occurs is termed expressive aphasia or 'non-fluent aphasia' and prevents a person from producing written and/or spoken language. The person with expressive aphasia knows what he or she wants to say, yet has difficulty communicating it to others. It doesn't matter whether the person is trying to say or write what he or she is trying to communicate. Speech usually requires a great deal of effort and often results in the loss of important content words and articles of speech. When this happens the speech of the person with expressive aphasia is said to be 'telegraphic'. The person may still be understood, but sentences will be agrammatical. In very severe forms, a person may only speak using single word utterances.
A person with expressive aphasia is usually called aphasic but this is a small corner of the disorder. Sometimes the person with stroke exhibits slow labored speech but the language is intact. This can be confused with expressive aphasia. Actually this is dysarthria, which is the results of oral muscular weakness. Expressive aphasia is also confused with apraxia of speech. Apraxia of speech is a motor disorder characterized by an inability to create and sequence motor plans for speech. Expressive aphasia differs from receptive aphasia, which is the inability to comprehend language or speak with appropriately meaningful words. Other synonyms for expressive aphasia are Broca's aphasia as used in clinical neuropsychology and agrammatic aphasia as used in cognitive neuropsychology.
Any of the following can be considered symptoms of expressive aphasia:
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