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Speech after Brain Anuerysm

      Re: Speech after Brain Anuerysm

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Posted by CCF Neurosurgery MD on October 15, 1997 at 12:06:23:

In Reply to: Speech after Brain Anuerysm posted by R. Ross on October 12, 1997 at 23:50:51:

: My mother had an aneurysm to rupture in the left frontal lobe in June of 96.  On three different occassions she wasn't expected to make it.  Through various thearpy and her own will and that of GOD, she now only has two main problems:  When she speaks, her words make no sense.  Example:  She might be saying I like your new car and it would come out as Thursday afternoon go away, maybe someday.  I am very convinced she understands most everything that's said to her.  Her facial expression and tone of voice lets you know a lot of what her feelings are but not what she's asking or trying to say.  Her other problem is no use of her right arm.  Her leg was wasn't responding for awhile but she is walking very good with a cane. I also know there is some peripheral vision problem.  During her speech thearpy over the last year, she is using new words and can also write her name and a few others also.  She has come so far, I just can't give up on the fact that there is not some way that she can communicate.  She can lead you all over town, as to where she wants to go eat, etc. but general conversation and questions aren't possible.  Can you please help her?
Dear R. Ross,
The speech difficulty your mother is having is called a fluent aphasia.  This
means that she can speak words clearly but cannot put them in context.  It
is a reflection of the damage that was done when your mother's aneurysm bled
a year ago.  Given the aphasia, right-sided weakness and visual difficulties,
your mother had significant damage to the left side of the brain.  The degree
of recovery depends on the amount of damage and is variable.  After the aneurysm
is taken care of, the focus turns to physical therapy and speech rehab.  
Recovery is often slow and frustrating, and unfortunately many are left with
residual deficits like your mother.
Bleeding aneurysms are a devastating disease.  Roughly half of these patients
die before reaching the hospital.  Of the rest, about half ofthese are
significantly impaired in their daily functions, and the remaining
half (one quarter overall) return to a 'functional' lifestyle.  
You are doing the correct things with your mother.  Unfortunately, recovery
is slow and often incomplete.  What your mother needs most at this time is
your love and attention.
Good luck.

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