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Dent Update. 2012 Apr;39(3):168-70, 173-4.

Aphasia--the hidden disability.

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Oral Biology Department of Glasgow Dental School.


Aphasia is an acquired language disorder due to brain damage and which may include difficulty in producing or comprehending spoken or written language. Stroke is the commonest cause and each year 50,000 new patients develop aphasia. People with aphasia differ in their speech output and in their fluency. Some people communicate reasonably well, while others have very limited powers of expression. This review will describe the neurology of speech and aphasia, and will focus on the role of the speech and language therapist in dealing with people with aphasia.


Dentists and their staff should be aware that after a stroke some people are unable to talk or have limited powers of expression. Comprehension might be impaired and people with aphasia may be unable to grasp some common language, such as appointment letters and patient information.

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