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失语症:我丢失了我的语言

Aphasia: The disorder that makes you lose your words - Susan Wortman-Jutt

我们常常理所当然地认为 语言是我们日常生活的最基本的一部分
Language is an essential part of our lives that we often take for granted.
有了它 我们可以交流彼此的想法 感受
With it, we can communicate our thoughts and feelings,
可以沉浸于文字中
lose ourselves in novels,
可以发送短信
send text messages,
问候朋友
and greet friends.
很难想象我们无法把想法记录成文字
It’s hard to imagine being unable to turn thoughts into words.
但当你大脑里脆弱的语言网络网
But if the delicate web of language networks in your brain
被中风 疾病 或创伤所破坏
became disrupted by stroke, illness, or trauma,
你会发现自己真的不会讲话了
you could find yourself truly at a loss for words.
这种障碍 叫失语症 它会影响到沟通的方方面面
This disorder, called aphasia, can impair all aspects of communication.
失语症患者较之前并没有丧失智力
People who have aphasia remain as intelligent as ever.
他们知道他们想说什么
They know what they want to say,
但总是不能正确地把话说出来
but can’t always get their words to come out correctly.
他们可能会在无意中将某些词语换掉—— 称为语言错乱
They may unintentionally use substitutions called paraphasias,
换成相关的词语 像把狗说成猫
switching related words, like saying “dog” for “cat,”
像一些听起来差不多的词语 如“house”说成“horse”
or words that sound similar, such as “house” for “horse.”
有时候 他们的话甚至难以辩清
Sometimes, their words may even be unrecognizable.
失语症有好几类 可分为两组
There are several types of aphasia grouped into two categories:
流畅型 或者说感觉性失语症
fluent, or receptive, aphasia
和非流畅型 或者说表达性失语症
and non-fluent, or expressive, aphasia.
流畅型失语症患者说话时可能有正常的语调变化
People with fluent aphasia may have normal vocal inflection
但是用词空洞 缺乏意义
but use words that lack meaning.
他们很难理解别人的言论
They have difficulty comprehending the speech of others
还会经常无法识别自己的语言错误
and are frequently unable to recognize their own speech errors.
而非流畅型失语症患者
People with non-fluent aphasia, on the other hand,
有着不错的理解力
may have good comprehension
但会在选择词语间很犹豫导致犯语法错误
but will experience long hesitations between words and make grammatical errors.
我们有时也经历过舌尖现象
We all have that tip-of-the-tongue feeling from time to time
即一时想不出某个字的情况
when we can’t think of a word,
但失语症患者则是很难说出一些简单的日常生活用品
but having aphasia can make it hard to name simple, everyday objects.
甚至阅读和写作都变得艰难和令人沮丧
Even reading and writing can be difficult and frustrating.
那么这种语言的缺失是如何发生的呢
So how does this language loss happen?
人类的大脑有两个半球
The human brain has two hemispheres.
在大多数人中 左脑支配语言
In most people, the left hemisphere governs language.
我们当然知道这些 这是因为在1861年
We know this because in 1861,
医生保罗 布洛卡对一个
the physician Paul Broca studied a patient
只能一个一个字讲的患者“坦”进行了研究
who lost the ability to use all but a single word, “tan.”
在患者死后留下的大脑中
During a postmortem study of that patient’s brain,
布洛卡发现其左半球有个区域受到了严重损害
Broca discovered a large lesion in the left hemisphere
这个区域现在被称为布洛卡区
now known as Broca’s area.
如今 科学家们认为布洛卡区起着对事物的命名
Scientists today believe that Broca’s area is responsible in part for naming objects
和协调肌肉以讲话的作用
and coordinating the muscles involved in speech.
位于布洛卡区后又有一个在听觉皮层附近的叫韦尼克的区域
Behind Broca’s area is Wernicke’s area near the auditory cortex.
这里就是大脑管理语音的地方
That’s where the brain attaches meaning to speech sounds.
韦尼克区受损会影响大脑理解语言能力
Damage to Wernicke’s area impairs the brain’s ability to comprehend language.
失语症就是由这两个特殊的区域受损造成的
Aphasia is caused by injury to one or both of these specialized language areas.
幸运的是 还有一些其他的大脑区域
Fortunately, there are other areas of the brain
支撑着这些语言中枢
which support these language centers
并能协助交流
and can assist with communication.
每个控制运动的大脑区域都与语言有关
Even brain areas that control movement are connected to language.
通过功能性磁共振成像研究发现 当我们听到动词时 如“跑” “跳舞”
FMRI studies found that when we hear action words, like “run” or “dance,”
大脑里控制运动的部分会起作用
parts of the brain responsible for movement light up
仿佛我们真的在跑或跳舞一样
as if the body was actually running or dancing.
我们另一个脑半球也对语言有影响
Our other hemisphere contributes to language, too,
它可以优化我们的讲话节奏和语调
enhancing the rhythm and intonation of our speech.
这些非语言区域有时会帮助失语症患者
These non-language areas sometimes assist people with aphasia
——当他们难以与人沟通的时候
when communication is difficult.
那么 失语症有多普遍呢
So how common is aphasia?
仅在美国就约有一百万人患失语症
Approximately 1 million people in the U.S. alone have it,
并且每年估计有八万例新病例
with an estimated 80,000 new cases per year.
大约有1/3的中风患者有失语症
About one-third of stroke survivors suffer from aphasia
这比帕金森症
making it more prevalent than Parkinson’s disease
和多发性硬化症更普遍
or multiple sclerosis,
至今更鲜为人知
yet less widely known.
有一种罕见的失语症叫原发性进行性失语症 简称PPA
There is one rare form of aphasia called primary progressive aphasia, or PPA,
它不是由中风或大脑受损造成的
which is not caused by stroke or brain injury,
但也可以说是某种形式上的痴呆症了
but is actually a form of dementia
说不出话来是第一个症状
in which language loss is the first symptom.
治疗PPA的方法是尽可能的维持患者的语言能力
The goal in treating PPA is to maintain language function for as long as possible
避免最后痴呆症的其他症状发生
before other symptoms of dementia eventually occur.
而当患者是由于中风或脑部受创而患上失语症时
However, when aphasia is acquired from a stroke or brain trauma,
通过语言障碍矫正以提高语言能力变得可能
language improvement may be achieved through speech therapy.
大脑本身有自我修复的能力 称为脑可塑性
Our brain’s ability to repair itself, known as brain plasticity,
它容许大脑附近的区域病变
permits areas surrounding a brain lesion
这样在治疗过程中就可以接管某些权利
to take over some functions during the recovery process.
科学家已使用新型技术进行了许多实验
Scientists have been conducting experiments using new forms of technology,
他们认为这也许能激起失语症患者的脑可塑性
which they believe may encourage brain plasticity in people with aphasia.
同时 失语症患者大多比较自闭
Meanwhile, many people with aphasia remain isolated,
他们担心别人不会理解他们或不给他们慢吞吞的讲话时间
afraid that others won’t understand them or give them extra time to speak.
耐心的 灵活的待他们 用他们的方式和他们沟通
By offering them the time and flexibility to communicate in whatever way they can,
你也可以帮助他们再次打开语言的大门
you can help open the door to language again,
并越过失语症的障碍
moving beyond the limitations of aphasia.

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