In the United States, stroke affects 795 adults each year. Of these, about 100 demonstrate aphasia. Aphasia, which in the United States seems to affect about a million people, has significant costs both for the individual (limited socialization, work difficulties) and for the health system (in fact, very long treatments are necessary).

Stroke is currently the leading cause of aphasia. About two-thirds of strokes occur over the age of 65. For this reason, a review of 40 studies by Ellis and Urban (2018) [1] set out to investigate the relationship between age and:

  1. the likelihood of aphasia occurring after stroke
  2. the type of aphasia
  3. the recovery patterns
  4. final result

Results

Stroke and presence / possibility of aphasia: patients with aphasia are typically larger than patients without aphasia. One cause, to be verified, could be the different cause of strokes depending on age.


Stroke and type of aphasia: Younger patients tend to have non-fluent aphasia. Again, the cause of stroke in older patients (thrombosis) may explain the posterior location of most strokes compared to younger ones (who are more at risk for embolic strokes). It cannot be ruled out that changes in the cerebrovascular system during aging make posterior damage more likely.

Recovery pattern and outcomes: there does not seem to be any significant correlation with age. Surely the most surprising data: 12 of the 17 studies did not indicate advanced age as an obstacle to the transition to milder forms of aphasia.

It seems, therefore, that age is a factor to consider, but to be included in the context of a broader assessment that takes into account pre-stroke factors (state of health, level of education) in addition to the classic factors related to stroke (site of injury, degree of initial speech impairment).

Our contribution

Aphasia has not only an emotional but also an economic cost for the patient and his family. Some people, for economic reasons, limit their rehabilitation possibilities, despite the evidence supporting the need for intensive and constant work. For this reason, since September 2020, all our apps can be used for free online in GameCenter Aphasia and our activity sheets are all available here: https://www.trainingcognitivo.it/le-nostre-schede-in-pdf-gratuite/

In the hope that the free availability of these materials can help those who need them to recover quickly and completely.

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