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what is transcortical aphasia

Transcortical sensory aphasia (TSA) is a kind of aphasia that involves damage to specific areas of the temporal lobe of the brain, resulting in symptoms such as poor auditory comprehension, relatively intact repetition, and fluent speech with semantic paraphasias present.TSA is a fluent aphasia similar to Wernicke’s aphasia, with the exception of a strong ability to repeat words and phrases. The person may repeat questions rather than answer them (“echolalia”)

In all of these ways, TSA is very similar to a more commonly known language disorder, receptive aphasia. However, transcortical sensory aphasia differs from receptive aphasia in that patients still have intact repetition and exhibit echolalia, or the compulsive repetition of words. Transcortical sensory aphasia cannot be diagnosed through brain imaging techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), as the results are often difficult to interpret. Therefore, clinicians rely on language assessments and observations to determine if a patient presents with the characteristics of TSA. Patients diagnosed with TSA have shown partial recovery of speech and comprehension after beginning speech therapy.Speech therapy methods for patients with any subtype of aphasia are based on the principles of learning and neuroplasticity. Clinical research on TSA is limited because it occurs so infrequently in patients with aphasia that it is very difficult to perform systematic studies.

TSA should not be confused with transcortical motor aphasia (TMA), which is characterized by nonfluent speech output, with good comprehension and repetition. Patients with TMA have impaired writing skills, difficulty speaking and difficulty maintaining a clear thought process. Furthermore, TMA is caused by lesions in cortical motor areas of the brain as well as lesions in the anterior portion of the basal ganglia, and can be seen in patients with expressive aphasia