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April 1979

Aphasia Rehabilitation

Arch Neurol. 1979;36(4):187-189. doi:10.1001/archneur.1979.00500400041004

Although formal therapy for aphasia has been recorded for almost a century,1 it was reported only sporadically for many years, almost always as individual case descriptions. During World War II, however, large numbers of young soldiers who had survived brain injury but were bereft of language came to medical attention. Centers were established to care for these patients, and treatment programs were devised.2,3 With this impetus, aphasia therapy was born and has burgeoned into a therapeutic subspecialty, an academic discipline, and a paramedical business. Although most of the originally recorded efforts in aphasia therapy were those of neurologists, the field has evolved so rapidly that most contemporary neurologists are uncomfortable in a discussion of aphasia therapy. Yet, there are many reasons for neurologists to remain active in aphasia rehabilitation; it is a complex process and guidance from a physician with knowledge of the brain is frequently needed.