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September 1955

Diagnosis and Prognosis in Aphasia

Author Affiliations


From the Neurology Section, Veterans Administration Hospital, and University of Minnesota Hospitals.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1955;74(3):308-315. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1955.02330150074011

The symptoms of aphasia are so complex and diverse that little agreement can be found in the literature regarding diagnosis, prognosis, or treatment. Additional confusion has resulted from methodology. Frequently terms have not been operationally defined; hence there could be little real understanding of the behavior to which they referred. Proposed theories have been inadequately supported by clinical data. In the absence of extensive longitudinal studies, presenting symptoms and symptoms observed at various recovery stages have been unrelated, resulting in absurd and clinically inaccurate classification systems.

In two previous papers clinical findings based on systematic and repeated observations of 203 aphasic patients, 138 in the first series,1 and 65 in the second,2 were described operationally and correlated with observations of clinical improvement, and tentative conclusions drawn. Observed patterns proved stable and remained constant except for gradual improvement under treatment, which was consistent and reliable.

These patterns were (1)

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