Case Study - Severe Wernicke’s Aphasia

Case Study

Severe Wernicke’s Aphasia

Age: 80

Time since stroke: 2 months


Problems

Peter had to step down as the President of his hobby club because he couldn’t be understood, talk on the phone, send emails or read emails. He was a very social person who enjoyed playing cards and socializing with others in his club.

With Severe Wernicke’s Aphasia, his speech was approximately 40% understandable to untrained listeners due to neologisms (nonsense words) and paraphasias (mistakes that sound similar to the word). He was generally aware that he couldn’t be understood, but had no strategies to help the listeners. He could not fix his speech mistakes, even with assistance. He and his wife were very discouraged. Their primary goal was for Peter to be able to speak more clearly to socialize and attend his hobby club.

Assessment

Using WAB-R
  • Some single word writing when prompted
  • Little awareness of speech errors or ability to fix breakdowns
  • Poor repetition of single words
  • Short sentence-level reading comprehension
  • Asked for clarification “what do you mean?”
  • Speech approximately 40% accurate

Treatment

He completed a 6-week program with tDCS

and My Aphasia Coach software homework daily.


Results

Before
After
Naming
10%
53%
Speech Content
20%
70%
Comprehension
53%
97%
Writing to Dictation
0%
70%
Repetition
3%
16%

Outcome

  • Speech was 85% intelligible given minimum cueing
  • His wife learned better strategies to communicate with him
  • Repeated words from videos and Text-to-speech app
  • Independently initiated compensatory strategies
  • Stepped down as his club President, but attended and helped organize events
  • Played cards with his friends