How is aphasia diagnosed?

Imaging tests, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) may be ordered. These tests identify the cause and areas of the brain that are damaged. Your physician may perform a basic language skills exam in which the patient is asked to carry on a conversation, name objects, answer questions and follow instructions. If your physician suspects aphasia, the patient is usually referred to a speech-language pathologist for a comprehensive exam. This healthcare professional is specially trained in identifying and improving language and communication abilities.

The speech-language pathologist will conduct tests to assess abilities such as grammar, ability to form sounds and letters, understanding (comprehension) of words and sentences, and object knowledge. Tests may involve picture descriptions, using single words to name objects and pictures, matching spoken words to pictures, answering yes/no questions, following directions and other tests.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/09/2019.

References

  • National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. National Institutes of Health. Aphasia. Accessed 6/4/2019.
  • National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. National Institutes of Health. Aphasia Information Page. Accessed 6/4/2019.
  • National Aphasia Association. Aphasia. Accessed 6/4/2019.
  • American Speech-Language Hearing Association. Aphasia. Accessed 6/4/2019.

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