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Types of Aphasia

There are many different classification systems for aphasia and many different types of aphasia within each system. Some classification systems are based largely on the location of the brain damage. Others are based on a person’s behavior and which basic language functions are affected. The National Aphasia Association has adopted a classification system that divides aphasia into two broad categories:

  • Fluent Aphasia: People with fluent aphasia have problems understanding spoken and written language. This type is also known as sensory, posterior, or Wernicke's aphasia.
  • Non-fluent Aphasia: People with non-fluent aphasia have difficulty communicating orally and with written words. This type of aphasia is also called motor, anterior, or Broca's aphasia. This category also includes global aphasia, the most severe type. People with global aphasia have difficulty both expressing and understanding oral and written communication.