Difference Between Aphasia and Dysarthria

Aphasia and dysarthria relate to disorder in either speech or language or both that arise from a neurological damage. Dysarthria is occasionally confused with aphasia because of the thin line of difference, but recognizing one from the other may prove beneficial especially to those living with someone having such disabilities.


Aphasia involves impairment of any language modality. The disability may range from comprehension, reading, writing, expression, and speaking. As an acquired disorder, a patient may have incurred aphasia through different circumstances such as a degenerative diseases or a stroke wherein the left hemisphere of the brain which is where language is located may be severely damaged. There are cases where aphasia just resolves in itself, however to the unfortunate ones, the disorder is irreversible.


Articulation and speech difficulty are mostly observed tendencies with dysarthria. Dysarthria is speech impairment due to muscle weakness or loss of muscle control resulting from damage in central or peripheral nervous system. Due to traumatic head injury, alcohol intoxication or stroke, dysarthria may develop. This abnormality do not specifically relate to language as it concerns to another form of modality which is movement. It is characterized by slurred speech, heavy breathing, affected resonance and phonation.

Difference between Aphasia and Dysarthria

The main difference between these two abnormalities is that aphasia is language impairment while dysarthria is speech impairment. People suffering from aphasia may able to speak, read or write but there is deficit in comprehension of words. On the other hand, neither reading and writing nor comprehension of reading and writing is affected with dysarthria as it concerns more on the disturbances of muscle control resulting to poor articulation of the lips, tongue and palate. Aphasia and dysarthria may co-occur in a single patient making it more difficult for his rehabilitation, but in most cases where pure aphasia condition occurs, patients are generally very well articulated compared to a dysarthria patients where their speech will always be distorted.

Therapy is deemed necessary for patients with aphasia and dysarthria. There may not be a 100% reversal results from therapy and rehabilitation, but an improvement will always be a good response. It is not easy living with someone having these conditions, so much so, having these conditions ourselves, so it may be best to give our assistance and patience to these people in order for them to improve their way of life.

In brief:

• Aphasia is language impairment caused by stroke, degenerative diseases or head injury that damages that part of the brain where language area is located.

• Dysarthria is speech impairment may also be caused by stroke, or alcohol intoxication or traumatic head injury that affects the central or peripheral nervous system resulting to weak muscle control.

• Aphasia may be well articulated but there is lack of comprehension of reading and writing.

• Dysarthria is characterized by distorted or slurred speech, however comprehension may still be there.