Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hidden stroke impairment leaves thousands suffering in silence

Date:
October 1, 2012
Source:
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
Summary:
Most people are completely unaware of one of stroke's most common, debilitating but invisible impairments: aphasia.

Most people are completely unaware of one of stroke's most common, debilitating but invisible impairments, according to the first awareness survey of its kind in Canada released October 1 at the Canadian Stroke Congress.

Related Articles


Thirty community volunteers trained by the York-Durham Aphasia Centre, a March of Dimes Canada program, collaborated with researchers from two Ontario universities in a survey of 832 adults in southern Ontario. They found that only two per cent of respondents could correctly identify aphasia as a communication disorder affecting the ability to speak, understand, read or write.

The survey team recommends a national education campaign to promote awareness of aphasia and to increase the availability of speech-language therapy, knowledge of supportive communication strategies, as well as long-term programs and services available to people who live with this chronic communication disability.

"Aphasia is poorly understood," says neurologist Dr. Michael Hill, Co-Chair of the Canadian Stroke Congress. "The sudden loss of language after a stroke creates huge challenges for individuals and their families."

As many as 100,000 Canadians are living with chronic aphasia.

"About one third of all people who have strokes experience some degree of aphasia but despite this high prevalence, it just doesn't get much attention," says Rick Berry, project coordinator, who worked with clinical coordinator and speech-language pathologist Ruth Patterson on the survey. "We wanted to gather some Canadian data to compare with surveys that have been done in other countries."

Aphasia occurs when there is stroke damage to language and communication centres in the brain. It does not affect intelligence but can leave people unable to express themselves, find their words and respond when spoken to. Sometimes people with aphasia repeat what has been said to them, get stuck on words or misuse words. As a result of their communication disabilities, they are prone to isolation and depression.

"The public isn't familiar with communication problems, so they often mistake aphasia for intellectual impairment," says Elizabeth Rochon, co-author of the survey and Associate Professor of Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Toronto. "The lack of awareness is devastating to people with aphasia and their families."

The aphasia survey was conducted in public places in the Toronto area, including beaches, libraries, parks, bus stations and shopping centres. Survey respondents were between ages 18 and 90.

The research team found:

  • 32 per cent of people surveyed had heard the word "aphasia";
  • Only two per cent correctly identified aphasia as a communication disorder affecting speaking, reading, writing and understanding; and
  • In contrast, among those who had not heard of aphasia, 89 per cent had heard of stroke.

"Aphasia can be a frustrating barrier to recovery following a stroke," says Ian Joiner, director of stroke for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. He says that caregivers, patients and even medical professionals need to be aware of and better understand aphasia so that people can be referred to and access much needed supports like speech-language pathologists, assistive devices and support groups.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. "Hidden stroke impairment leaves thousands suffering in silence." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121001083900.htm>.
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. (2012, October 1). Hidden stroke impairment leaves thousands suffering in silence. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121001083900.htm
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. "Hidden stroke impairment leaves thousands suffering in silence." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121001083900.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

AP (Dec. 16, 2014) More departments are ordering their first responders to sit in on training sessions that focus on how to more effectively interact with those with autism spectrum disorder (Dec. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Guys Are Idiots, According To Sarcastic Study

Guys Are Idiots, According To Sarcastic Study

Newsy (Dec. 12, 2014) A study out of Britain suggest men are more idiotic than women based on the rate of accidental deaths and other factors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Believing in Father Christmas Good for Children's Imaginations

Believing in Father Christmas Good for Children's Imaginations

AFP (Dec. 12, 2014) As the countdown to Christmas gets underway, so too does the Father Christmas conspiracy. But psychologists say that telling our children about Santa, flying reindeer and elves is good for their imaginations. Duration: 01:57 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins