Saturday, March 7, 2009

Nominal Aphasia

I've known about this deficiency of mine for a long time. In fact, I mentioned it in a post once and called it a "noun-attack," and now I've learned the name of it from an episode of House. The victim had suffered a stroke that impaired the area of the brain that controlled his ability to recall nouns. The recall of names, as a special case of nouns, can also be affected.

Nominal Aphasia or anomia is the form caused by trauma like a stroke. The mild type is called dysnomia. That's what I suffer occasionally. It doesn't seem to be a problem when I write, only when I'm speaking. It causes me to adopt a kind of stop and start pattern. I begin a sentence, pause for a moment to search for the noun, then begin a new phrase with the recalled noun in place. When the noun is the subject, the pause is not even noticeable because I locate the noun before I begin speaking at all.

I've noticed that my dad has the same problem on occasion. However, he may have suffered mild strokes that produced it. I don't know if he was affected with dysnomia in his youth.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have the same exact problem and I have a couple of theories as to why it is happening. Facts: 1) I hold an immense amount of data in my head to do my job. I can write software programs in my head and then sit down and type them up. 2) When talking about work, I have no problem bringing up the complex terminology that is required. 3) I smoke a daily joint or two of pot. 4) I remember my mother having this kind of problem when she was my age, but not as often as I have it. She never had a "thinking" job though, she was a Dr's assistant, book keeper and bus driver and never smoked or drank much in her life.

So, theories... I have the propensity for it because of #4. #1 and/or #3 could be making it worse or it could just be #1 or #3 independently. I tend to think it's a combination.

P.S. - I think A LOT. It's my favorite thing to do. A lot of times, just thinking about something is as good as doing it for me. I have a general thirst for knowledge.