The man is eating a banana. A dead simple sentence, but not for people with language disorder aphasia. Not being able to talk normally, no book or newspaper to read, not just work at the computer, no longer carry on a normal conversation: for aphasia patients is a daily reality.
Professor of neuro Roelien Bastiaanse already making a career of research into aphasia. "Hopeless and terrible it is, can not communicate. Language is the most essential of human beings. Substantial than walk. You will also hear from people who have ended by a stroke in a wheelchair. This wheelchair is possible, but that they no longer speak normal that they find the worst. "
Bastiaanse graduated in 1983 as a linguist. In those years there were hardly tested in the field of aphasia. "It was only said that patient can not understand sentences Why, there was not looked at where the problems were just not been studied I material to develop to diagnose patients better and treat for your broken leg... the plaster sets, yet also look first where the fault is. "
With modest expectations, she went to work. Bastiaanse had a teacher during her study who had a chronic aversion to everything that tended to therapy. "Aphasia Treatment he did find the greatest nonsense. So I began with a large dose of skepticism. I never thought I could heal people, only a little that I could help to communicate better."
Thirty years later, there was no reason to revise its opinion. "Aphasia is caused by brain damage that is irreversible. People may make progress, especially in the first three months, but spectacular the results are not. All of your treatment for six months, six hours a week, then one goes by leaps and bounds. Kapot is broken. What we can do is some people relearn to talk, they learn how they can make themselves better understood. "
Bastiaanse focused on verbs. Together with a female colleague she was given the honorary title "The Verb Girls. A linguistic verbs are of course much more interesting than nouns. "A sentence without a noun do so: he sleeps, she is but a sentence without a verb does not exist in language, the verb has been featured:.. It expresses what a person does, what has occurred, what will happen Verbs, there. You can not do without. "
In addition, that the verb in Dutch behaves itself particularly with regard to other languages. According to the laws of linguistics is a verb normally at the end of a sentence, but in Dutch delves into the main sights on second spot on. See the banana-eating man where this article started. "Aphasia Patients who need to learn it again, see you struggle They can avoid much better to learn difficult things and easy to do:.. Man banana food No nice phrase, but understand they have been investigated in Nijmegen that. Communication goes forward when she teaches alternative. "
Anno 2013, the linguistics as reasonably identify what can go wrong in the language field in the head. "We know which places the bone may break Still, do you still stand even surprises that you see a patient and thinks.. This disorder does not exist at all, then the front you again need to start over there with your knowledge. about language, brains and cognition find out what explanation can there be. "
In that respect, its still one thing to do before her retirement. "Patients with grammatical disorders have problems with word order and conjugate verbs, especially with reference to the past. What I would like to know whether the two problems are also related, if there is one underlying disorder. And then to find out what the one then the other has to do, because that is not quite obvious. It is still a puzzle. "
It is estimated that in the Netherlands, approximately 30 000 people aphasia. This language disorder caused by brain damage. Often cause a stroke, but also tumors, brain surgery or an accident aphasia. Aphasia covers a broad spectrum of issues, from word-finding problems and the inability to properly build sentences to not understand spoken language and written text.