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Adult Neurogenic Communication Disorders

What Are Neurogenic Disorders?

Acquired neurogenic communication disorders are caused by damage to the central or peripheral nervous system. People with these disorders at one time had normal communication abilities. The difficulties may come suddenly after an acute event or appear gradually as part of a progressive disorder. Some of the causes include stroke, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, tumor, and traumatic brain injury. Speech and communication abilities are sensitive indicators of neurological problems and one of first places where neurologic problems are noticeable.

”People often avoid interacting with adults who have communication difficulties. This is both unfortunate and unnecessary, because there are many ways to support communication.”

—Katarina Haley, PhD, Associate Professor, Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences

Common Communication Disorders at the UNC Center for Aphasia and Related Disorders

Aphasia results from damage to the parts of the brain that process language. Aphasia causes problems with any or all of the following: speaking, listening, reading, and writing.

Dysarthria is caused by damage to nerves or to parts of the brain that control speech movements. Movements of the mouth, face, throat, and chest may be weak, slow, or uncoordinated and lead to speech that is difficult to understand.

Apraxia is caused by damage to the sensory-motor parts of the brain that organize speech movements. People with apraxia of speech have trouble speaking fluently and saying the right sounds in syllables and words.