Communication disorders can be a result of a stroke, traumatic brain injury, head and neck cancer, neurological disorders, and other medical conditions. They include:
Aphasia is an acquired language disorder characterized by impaired comprehension and production of language as a result of brain damage (most often as a result of a stroke.) It can dramatically impair a person's ability to communicate. The main symptom of aphasia is impairment in the ability to speak, while the understanding of speech, reading and writing can also be impaired.
Dysarthria is a speech disorder that results from weakness, paralysis, or in-coordination of the muscles that control speech, resulting from neurological diseases and injuries. Dysarthria can result from progressive types of neurological disorders such as Parkinson Disease. It can also result from an injury to the brain, such as stroke or head injury.
Dysphagia is swallowing difficulty. It can be caused by a stroke, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson Disease, dementia, or other neurological disorders.
A voice disorder is characterized by an abnormality in the pitch, loudness, duration or quality of the voice. Hoarseness caused by vocal abuse or misuse is the most common voice disorder; however, infection, trauma, reflux, and cancer can also cause voice disorders.
Cancer or trauma can result in a total laryngectomy; the removal of the entire voice box or larynx. Removal of the larynx results in a complete loss of voice. In some cases, only part of the larynx is removed (partial laryngectomy), which leaves the patient with an abnormal voice quality.
Cognitive-linguistic disorders refer to problems with attention, memory, organization, reasoning, and social skills that impact communication. These can be a result of a traumatic brain injury or stroke.