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Aphasia

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Question: Would a brain that has aphasia have a distinction on an MRI scan than a normal one? I know that this is a condition that is usually diagnosed by assessing the patient's speech and language skills, but I dont know if it can be visually seen on a scan. Of course, a stroke can be detected by an mri but would it be sensitive enough to show different forms of aphasia like Brocas Aphasia, and Wernicke's aphasia?

Answer: Broca's area (located in the inferior frontal gyrus, involved in speech generation) and Wernicke's area (located in the superior temporal gyrus, involved in comprehension) are located several centimeters from one another. Standard MRI images have resolutions on the order of a few cubic millimeters -- more than adequate to detect a lesion in a specific brain region. Remember, the MRI cannot "show the aphasia," it can only show where the damage is located. The presentation of a specific type of aphasia might give the clinician a reasonable guess where the lesion is located, which could be confirmed by MRI.


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