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Broca’s aphasia or motor aphasia

The aphasia Broca ‘s aphasia or motor like all Aphasia is a disorder in language oral. It is non-fluent (descended flow of the language) and constitutes a difficulty in language articulation in the absence of problems in the bucco-phonator apparatus. It is a specific lesion that is located in the parietal fronto-temporal part of the brain or also called Broca’s area of ​​the brain .

The name of this aphasia was assigned in honor of  Paul Pierre Broca (French physician and anatomist)  who discovered after several investigations with post-mortem studies that many of his patients, who presented aphasias, had serious damage in the third frontal gyrus. of the left hemisphere -area that controls language- , for this rason, in honor of Broca, this area of ​​the brain is named and therefore also the language disorder located in the same place.

People with this type of aphasia have great difficulty in speaking , it is like a conversational language. Their speech is difficult and defective, and they speak with great effort and lack of fluency. Unlike other aphasias, if you have Broca’s aphasia, you can understand what is being said, but you cannot speak fluently because your brain does not send enough impulses to certain parts of the brain that are responsible for the functioning of the necessary muscles to form words.

Causes of Broca’s aphasia

Broca’s aphasia is caused by a brain injury that affects Broca’s area. This area that is located in the front part of the left hemisphere of the brain is responsible for the articulation function of speech.

When a brain injury occurs some of the brain cells die. This may be because blood flow or oxygen flow to a particular part of the brain stops or decreases. In this case, the flow that stops is the one that reaches the cells in Broca’s area.

Some of the causes that can cause brain lesions in Broca’s area are: brain tumor, brain infection, brain injury due to head trauma , progressive clinical pictures such as dementia ( Alzheimer’s ).

How is Broca’s aphasia diagnosed?

The diagnosis of an aphasia is usually made through research conducted by experimental psychology or neuropsychology .

Aphasias are classified into two levels: fluent or non-fluent aphasia. Broca’s aphasia is considered a type of non-fluent aphasia. Nonfluent aphasia consists of difficulty in transmitting the language.

In order to evaluate the clinical condition of the patient, the psychologist must take into account:

The level of education of the patient: the educational level of the person will be taken into account.

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Cause of injury: the cause of the injury will be taken into account.

Severity of the injury: the psychologist will review the patient’s medical history or new neurological studies to determine the degree of the injury and whether it is widespread or centralized.

Exploration of language areas: the psychologist will ask you questions, give you texts to read, have you write sentences and assess your level of understanding

Note: All aphasias are evaluated based on the area of ​​the brain affected.

Symptoms of Broca’s aphasia

  • have very poor verbal initiative (less than 10 words per minute)
  • have altered prosody (intonation of language)
  • syntax alteration
  • agrammatisms (grammatical poverty)
  • telegraphic language (use of infinitive verbs)
  • anomies
  • amphoras
  • dysprosodia (irregularities in rhythm, tone, and inflections in the voice)
  • alterations in the construction of syntactic structures
  • difficulty articulating sounds and words
  • trouble writing
  • difficulty reading
  • concentration difficulty
  • rustración
  • word substitution
  • language stereotypes
  • phonetic alterations
  • literal paraphasias (repeat wrong)
  • have slight difficulties in understanding

They also have, unlike other pathologies, an awareness of illness , which can lead to depression due to the problems that this difficulty brings.

In relation to reading , these people read as they speak and in writing they present: handwriting, badly formed, large and uneven capital letters; and like reading, they write as they speak. They also have a dissociation between automatic language (such as: singing, praying, counting, among others) that they do well and voluntary oral language, which is what they have difficulty with.


This type of aphasia can improve with re-education -depending on the cause- in the hands of a speech therapist or speech therapist if it is treated in time, when the disorder is not in an advanced degree.

The speech pathologist will create a therapeutic program with language- based activities  for patients with this type of aphasia. At the beginning and at the end of the treatment provided by the speech therapist, an evaluation is made to the patient to see what his evolution has been.

Sometimes it can evolve into conduction aphasia (difficulty in prosody), as mentioned above. It also has a better prognosis than other language syndromes, since with reeducation of the patient and his family environment and with a good multidisciplinary treatment with psychologists and physiotherapists accompanied by the speech therapist, the patient can make great progress.

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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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