Getting to the Root: Uncovering the Causes of Neurogenic Communication Disorders

communication and cognition speech language pathology Feb 27, 2023

 Neurogenic communication disorders are communication disorders caused by damage to the nervous system. Some of the most common causes of these disorders include stroke, traumatic brain injury, progressive neurological diseases, and tumors. In addition, some causes may be linked to birth defects, genetic disorders, and other medical conditions. Depending on the location and extent of the damage, a person may experience a wide range of difficulties in communication. These may include aphasia (impairment in understanding and producing language), apraxia (difficulty with motor planning and speech production), dysarthria (slurred or distorted speech), and dysphagia (difficulty swallowing).
The exact cause of a neurogenic communication disorder varies depending on the individual, but there are some general factors that can contribute to the development of these conditions. These factors include damage to the brain, an interruption of the signals between the brain and muscles, and an inability to interpret and respond to language. In addition, some conditions may be caused by advanced age, physical or emotional trauma, or a combination of these and other factors.

When seeking treatment, it is important to determine the underlying cause of the disorder. This can help to ensure that the most effective treatment plan is put in place. To do this, a speech-language pathologist may conduct a comprehensive evaluation, including an assessment of communication, memory, language, problem-solving abilities, and physical abilities. The speech-language pathologist may also order imaging studies and request for medical history information to further evaluate the cause of the disorder.
Once the underlying cause has been identified, treatment can be tailored to the individual’s specific needs and abilities. Treatment may include strategies to help the individual communicate more effectively, such as speech therapy, cognitive therapy, and other forms of rehabilitation. With patience, dedication, and the right support, individuals with neurogenic communication disorders can often learn to communicate more effectively.

Nancy Wariari, MHA, MS.CCC-SLP 

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