Impaired language functioning is called dysphasia. In the early stages the person will have difficulty naming common objects. As the disease progresses, other aspects of language functioning is affected. The ability to comprehend diminishes and eventually the person will not understand even simple commands.
Spontaneous speech is also affected. Initially it consists of poor grammatical ability and in the later stages of the illness, the production of speech is affected to such a degree that what is said, is unintelligible. Reading and writing will also be affected.
Written by Dr Frans Hugo, MBChB, M.Med Psychiatry and Dr L. Van Wyk, MBChB, M. Med (Psych) from the Panorama Memory Clinic.
For more information visit: Dementia SA: http://www.dementiasa.org/ or Alzheimer’s South Africa: http://www.alzheimers.org.za