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Aphasia vs Dysphasia: What Is the Difference?

Sandeep Dhanyamraju
Medically reviewed by Chaitanya Bonda
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Sandeep Dhanyamraju
Medically reviewed by Chaitanya Bonda

Communication is a fundamental aspect of human interaction.

It enables us to express our thoughts, emotions, and ideas. But various conditions can disrupt this vital ability. It makes it challenging for individuals to convey their thoughts effectively.

Two terms commonly used in the field of verbal pathology are:

While these terms are often used interchangeably, they actually represent distinct concepts.

In this our aphasia vs dysphasia article, we will explore the difference between conditions. We will shed light on their unique characteristics, causes, and implications. By understanding the difference between aphasia and dysphasia, we can enhance our comprehension of language-related dysfunctions and the individuals who experience them, leading to improved support and care for those affected.

Aphasia vs Dysphasia Definition

Aphasia refers to a language dysfunction. It impairs a person’s ability to understand, produce, or use language. It affects the comprehension and expression of spoken and written lexicon. And it affects the ability to read and write. It typically occurs as a result of damage to the lexicon centers in the brain. They are primarily located in the left hemisphere.

According to the aphasia vs dysphasia definitions, dysphasia is a broader term. It encompasses various issues, including aphasia. It refers to any impairment or difficulty in the creating or comprehension of a lexicon, regardless of the cause. People living with dysphasia could get it from:

  • Brain damage.
  • Developmental dysfunction.
  • Other factors that affect the lexicon processing areas of the brain.

Difficulties in speech

Difficulties in Language Production in Aphasia and Dysphasia

Issues in lexicon production in aphasia and dysphasia:

  • Anomia. Anomia refers to the issue in finding and retrieving words from memory. Both conditions can result in anomia. It makes it challenging for individuals to recall the appropriate words during verbal communication.
  • Broca’s Aphasia. Broca’s aphasia is also known as expressive ones. It’s characterized by issues in producing fluent verbal communication. Individuals with Broca’s type may experience slow, effortful, and telegraphic verbal communication.
  • Dysarthria. Dysarthria is a motor verbal communication dysfunction that can be present in both aphasia and dysphasia. It affects the muscles involved in verbal communication production. It leads to slurred, imprecise, or weak articulation of words.
  • Paraphasia. It refers to the substitution or distortion of words during verbal communication. In fluent aphasia, individuals may produce semantic issues. There they use words related in meaning but not the intended word. In non-fluent types, phonemic issues occur. There the substituted word sounds similar to the intended word.
  • Agrammatism. Agrammatism is a characteristic of Broca’s type. There, individuals have issues using grammatical structures correctly. They may omit function words, such as articles and prepositions. And they struggle with word order and sentence construction.
  • Jargon. Jargon refers to the making of verbal communication that is fluent but lacks meaning. It can occur in both aphasia and dysphasia. And it’s often characterized by strings of words that do not form coherent sentences.
  • Word-finding issues. Lexicon dysfunctions can lead to issues in finding and retrieving specific words. It results in pauses, circumlocutions, or the use of general terms.
  • Apraxia of verbal communication. Apraxia of verbal communication is a motor dysfunction that can be present in dysphasia. It involves coordinating the muscles involved in verbal communication production. It results in inconsistent errors, sound substitutions, and issues with accurately imitating or producing verbal communication sounds.
  • Telegraphic verbal communication. Individuals with dysfunctions may exhibit it. There, only essential words are used. And they omit grammatical markers or function words.
  • Inefficiency in verbal communication planning and organization. Both aphasia and dysphasia can cause issues in planning and organizing verbal communication. This may result in hesitations, pauses, or problems in expressing thoughts coherently.

Treatment Approaches for Aphasia and Dysphasia

Dysphasia vs aphasia: treatment approaches:

  • Verbal Communication Therapy. It is the primary approach for treating conditions. A speech-language pathologist (SLP) works closely with individuals to improve their lexicon abilities. Therapy includes exercises to enhance word retrieval, comprehension, grammar, and communication skills.
  • Cognitive Linguistic Therapy. This therapy focuses on improving cognitive processes related to lexicon comprehension. It may involve exercise enhancing attention, memory, problem-solving, and executive functions. They are crucial for effective communication.
  • Constraint-Induced Language Therapy (CILT). According to our aphasia vs dysphasia guide, it’s an intensive treatment approach. It involves constraining the unaffected lexicon abilities. It’s to encourage the use of impaired lexicon. This technique aims to promote the reactivation and rehabilitation of lexicon skills.
  • Melodic Intonation Therapy. MIT utilizes the melodic and rhythmic aspects of verbal communication to enhance lexicon creation. It involves singing or intoning simple phrases. It’s to ease the retrieval and expression of words and sentences.
  • Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). AAC involves the use of communication aids. They are picture boards, electronic devices, or speech-generating devices. It’s to supplement or replace verbal communication. AAC can support individuals with severe lexicon impairments.
  • Group Therapy. It provides individuals with opportunities to practice communication skills in a supportive environment. It encourages social interaction, conversation, and the use of compensatory strategies.
  • Computer-Based Therapy. According to our aphasia vs dysphasia guide,it can be as a supplement to traditional therapy. These programs offer interactive exercises and activities targeting specific lexicon skills. They provide extra practice and feedback for individuals with dysfunctions.
  • Constraint-Induced Therapy (CIT). It involves restricting the use of compensatory strategies. They are gestures or writing to promote the use of verbal communication. It encourages intensive practice and active engagement in communication tasks. It’s to improve lexicon creation and comprehension.
  • Script Training. According to our aphasia vs dysphasia guide,it involves practicing specific functional phrases or conversations repeatedly. It’s to improve lexicon fluency and automaticity. This approach focuses on training the brain to retrieve and produce lexicon effortlessly.

man with disphasia

Common Difference Between Aphasia and Dysphasia

Common differences between conditions:

  • Definition. Aphasia specifically refers to a lexicon dysfunction. It results from brain damage or injury. And it affects the comprehension and creation of a lexicon. Dysphasia is a broader term. It encompasses any impairment or issue in lexicon creation or comprehension. And it’s regardless of the cause.
  • Scope. Aphasia is a subset of dysphasia. All individuals with it have dysphasia. But not all individuals with dysphasia have aphasia. Dysphasia includes lexicon issues caused by various factors. They are developmental dysfunctions or non-brain injury-related causes.
  • Cause. This is another difference between aphasia and dysphasia. Aphasia is primarily caused by damage to the lexicon centers of the brain. It’s usually in the left hemisphere. Speech problems can occur from stroke, traumatic brain injury, or brain tumors. Dysphasia can have many causes. It includes brain damage, developmental dysfunctions, or other factors affecting lexicon processing areas.
  • Diagnostic Use. It’s another difference between aphasia and dysphasia. Aphasia is a commonly used term in verbal communication pathology. And it’s widely recognized as a lexicon dysfunction. Dysphasia is a less specific term and may not be used as frequently in clinical settings.
  • Historical Usage. Aphasia has been traditionally used to describe lexicon dysfunctions. Particularly those resulting from brain injury. Dysphasia has been used in older literature to describe similar lexicon issues. But it is less commonly used today.


In summary of our dysphasia vs aphasia guide, both conditions are related terms. They both need proper treatment. They describe lexicon dysfunctions, but they have important distinctions. Aphasia refers to lexicon problems caused by brain damage. While dysphasia covers a wider range of issues regardless of their cause. Recognizing these differences is crucial for:

  • Accurate diagnosis.
  • Planning treatment.
  • Supporting individuals with these conditions.

We can improve communication by addressing the unique challenges of aphasia and dysphasia. And it enhances the quality of life for people affected by these issues.


  • Is aphasia and dysphasia the same?

Aphasia is a specific type of language disorder. It results from brain damage or injury, affecting language comprehension and production. Dysphasia is a broader term that encompasses various language difficulties, including aphasia. Dysphasia refers to any impairment or difficulty in language production or comprehension. And it’s regardless of the cause.

  • What is an example of dysphasia?

An example of dysphasia could be a language difficulty. It’s caused by a developmental disorder. They are specific language impairments or dyslexia. It could also be associated with a non-brain injury-related cause. For example, hearing loss or a neurological condition that affects language processing. Dysphasia manifests as challenges in word retrieval, grammar, and understanding spoken or written language.

  • What are the 3 types of aphasia?

The three primary types of aphasia are:

  1. Broca’s aphasia (expressive aphasia). Difficulties in producing fluent speech characterize this type.
  2. Wernicke’s aphasia (receptive aphasia). Wernicke’s aphasia primarily affects comprehension.
  3. Global aphasia. Global aphasia is the most severe form of aphasia. It affects both comprehension and expression.

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Edward Medina
Edward Medina
15:34 30 Jun 22
Just such an amazing staff that makes you feel like part of their family. I’ve been going there for over 5 years now... and each visit I get the very best care and treatments that I have ever received in the 20+ years that I’ve been dealing with severe debilitating migraines. Since i started seeing them the number of my migraines has dropped from 15-20 a month to 2-3 every 3 month. I highly recommend them …they will change your life!read more
Daneisha Johnson
Daneisha Johnson
22:20 19 May 22
Dr. Askari was very kind and explained everything so I could understand. The other staff were nice as well. I would... have gave 5 stars but I was a little taken aback when I checked in and had to pay 600.00 upfront. I think that should have been discussed in a appointment confirmation call or email just so I could have been more
Jean Cooper
Jean Cooper
16:54 29 Apr 22
I love the office staff they are friendly and very helpful. Dr. JODIE is very caring and understanding to your needs... and wants to help you. I will go back. would recommend Dr. Dr. Jodie to other Patients in a heart beat. The team works well more
Linda M
Linda M
19:40 02 Apr 22
I was obviously stressed, needing to see a neurologist. The staff was so patient and Dr. Ansari was so kind. At one... point he told me to relax, we have time, when I was relaying my history of my condition. That helped ease my stress. I have seen 3 other neurologists and he was the only one who performed any assessment tests on my cognitive and physical skills. At one point I couldn't complete two assessments and got upset and cried. I was told, it's OK. That's why you're here. I was truly impressed, and super pleased with the whole experience!read more
Leslie Durham
Leslie Durham
15:05 01 Apr 22
I've been coming here for about 5 years. The staff are ALWAYS friendly and knowledgeable. The Doctors are the absolute... best!! Jodie Moore is always in such a great mood which is a plus when you are already stressed. Highly recommendedread more
Monica Del Bosque
Monica Del Bosque
14:13 25 Mar 22
Since my first post my thoughts have changed here. It's unfortunate. My doctor and PA were great, but the office staff... is horrible. They never call you back when they say they will, they misinform you, they cause you too much stress wondering what's going on, they don't keep you posted. They never answer the phone. At this point I've left four messages in the last week, and I have sent three messages. Twice from their portal and one direct email. No response. My appointment is on Monday morning at 8:30am, no confirmation on my insurance and what's going on. What the heck is going on, this is ridiculous!I've given up... the stress her office staff has put me through is just not worth it. You can do so much better, please clean house, either change out your office staff, or find a way for them to be more efficient please. You have to do something. This is not how you want to run your practice. It leaves a very bad impression on your more
Ron Buckholz
Ron Buckholz
23:32 23 Mar 22
I was actually pleasantly surprised with this visit! It took me a long time to get the appointment scheduled because no... one answers your phones EVER! After a month, I finally got in, and your staff was warm, friendly, and I was totally impressed! I feel like you will take care of my needs!read more
Steve Nabavi
Steve Nabavi
16:28 16 Mar 22
It was a nice visit. Happy staff doing all they can do to comfort the patients in a very calming environment. You ask... me they are earned a big gold star on the fridge. My only complaint they didn't give me any more
Katie Lewis
Katie Lewis
16:10 10 Feb 22
Had very positive appointments with Jodie and Dr. Sheth for my migraine care. Jodie was so fast with the injections and... has so much valuable info. I started to feel light headed during checkout and the staff was SO helpful—giving me a chair, water, and taking me into a private room until I felt better. Highly recommend this practice for migraine patients, they know what they’re doing!!read more
Joshua Martinez
Joshua Martinez
16:02 10 Dec 21
I was scheduled to be checked and just want to say that the staff was fantastic. They were kind and helpful. I was... asked many questions related to what was going on and not once did I feel as though I was being brushed off. The front desk staff was especially great in assisting me. I'm scheduled to go back for a mri and am glad that I'll be going more
Isabel Ivy
Isabel Ivy
21:42 03 Nov 21
I had such a good experience with Lone Star Neurology, Brent my MRI Tech was so awesome and made sure I was very... comfortable during the appointment. He gave me ear plugs, a pillow, leg support and blanket, easiest MRI ever lol 🤣 My 72 hour EEG nurse Amanda was also so awesome. She made sure I was take care of over the 3 days and took her time with the electrodes to make sure it was comfortable for me! Paige was also a huge help in answering all my questions when it came to my test results, and letting me know her honest opinions about how I should go forth with my more
Leslie Luce
Leslie Luce
17:37 20 Oct 21
The professionalism and want to help attitude of this office was present from the moment I contacted them. The follow... up and follow through as well as their willingness to find a way to schedule my dad was above and beyond. We visited two offices in the same day with the same experience. I am appreciative of this—we spend a lot of time with doctors and this was top notch start to more
robert Parker
robert Parker
16:38 16 Apr 21
I love going to this office. The staff is friendly and helpful. The doctor is great. I am getting the best... neurological tests and treatment I have ever had. The only reason I did not give them a 5 star rating is because it is impossible to reach a live person at the office to reschedule appointments. Every time I have tried to get through to the office it says all people are busy and I am sent to a voicemail. If they could get their phone answering fixed, I would give them a strong 5 more
MaryAnn Hornbaker
MaryAnn Hornbaker
00:26 25 Feb 21
Dr. Harney is an excellent Dr. I found him friendly , personable and thorough. I evidently am an unusual case. ... Therefore he spent a Hugh amount of time educating me. He even gave me literature to further explain my condition and how to follow up. This is something you rarely get from your doctors. So I am more than please with my doctor and his more
Roger Arguello
Roger Arguello
03:05 29 Jan 21
Always courteous, professional. The staff is very friendly and always work with you to find the best appointment time.... The care team has been great. Always taking the time to listen to your concerns and to find the best more
Margaret Rowland
Margaret Rowland
01:12 27 Jan 21
I have been a patient at Lone Star Neurology for several years. Now both my adult daughters also are patients there. I... love Jodie. She is always so prompt whether it is a teleamed call are a visit in the office. She takes the time to explain everything to me and answers all my questions. I am so blessed to have Jodie as my more
Susan Miller
Susan Miller
03:01 13 Jan 21
My husband had an accident 5 years ago and Lone Star Neurology has been such a blessing to us with my husbands care.... Jodie Moore is his provider and she is amazing! Jodie is very knowledgeable, caring, and thorough. She takes her time with you, making sure your needs are met and she is happy to answer any questions you may have. Lone Star Neurology’s patients are very lucky to have Jodie providing their care. Thank you Lone Star Neurology and especially Jodie for everything you have done for us. Jodie, you are the best!read more
Windalyn C
Windalyn C
01:32 09 Jan 21
Jodie is wonderful. She is very caring and knowledgeable. I have been to over a dozen neurologists, and none were able... to help me as much as they have here. Thanks!read more
Katie Kordel
Katie Kordel
00:40 09 Jan 21
Jodi Moore, nurse practitioner, is amazing. I have suffered from frequent, debilitating headaches for almost 20 years.... She has provided the best proactive and responsive care I have ever received. My quality of life has been greatly improved by her caring approach and tenacity in finding more
Ellie Natsis
Ellie Natsis
15:41 07 Jan 21
I have had the best experience at this neurologist's office! For over a year I have been receiving iv treatments here... each month and my nurse, Bobbie is beyond wonderful!! She's so attentive, knowledgeable, caring, and detail oriented. She makes an otherwise uncomfortable experience much more pleasant and definitely puts me at ease! She also helps me with my insurance,ordering this specialty medication and dealing with the ordering process which is no easy feat.Needless to say, she goes above a beyond in every way and I'm so grateful to this office and to Bobbie for all they do for me!read more
Matt Morris
Matt Morris
15:39 07 Jan 21
Let me start by saying that I have been coming here for years. Due to my autoimmune disease, I am in this office... once every three weeks for multiple hours at a time. The office is very clean and the staff very friendly. My only complaint would be there communication via phone. They aren't the best at responding if you leave a voicemail and expect a call back. I understand that this is prob just due to the sheer number of alls they receive daily. What I can say I like the best about the office are the people. Bobby who handles my infusions is great. I never have any issues with her setting up my infusions. She is very quick to reply to messages sent via text and if she were to leave then my whole opinion of the office may change. I also enjoy people like Matt, Lauren, and Jodi. I appreciate all that they do for me and without this team I'm not sure I would be as happy as I am to visit the office as frequently as I have to. Please ensure that these folks are recognized as they are what makes my visit to this office so tolerable :).read more
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