Aphasia is a greek word that means “speechlessness”. It is defined as a loss or impairment of language, most likely the inability to speak, understand, read or write. It is caused by a brain damage, often a brain stroke.

Aphasia is as old as human beings, but have been understood only recently. Indeed, from the time that man possessed language, some 125,000 years ago, there have been people who became aphasic as a result of brain injuries, but the first evidences of its knowledge come from the times of the Egyptian empire (1700 b.C.).

Its causes were never totally understood until the 19th century, when the relation between speech disorder and brain injury was finally established, and some forms of the “architecture” of the brain were proposed (with much polemic amongst the experts, due to philosophical and religious considerations). Anyway, since the end of World War II most of the studies picture a complex system of neural connections, in which most of the functions -language also- require the use of different areas of the brain.

Nowadays, every year more than half a million new strokes are reported in the U.S, with a much higher incidence in minorities because the lack of health care and the socioeconomic differences. Furthermore, over 60% of stroke patients cannot work anymore because of their disability, and the expenses are enormous for the families as well as for the insurances companies and the Government. Recently it has been calculated that an individual's hospitalization and rehabilitation costs along with the lost wages, may all add up to nearly $5 million dollars.

Nevertheless, the most astonishing fact remains to be that 1 out of 250 people have currently aphasia in the U.S., but most people have never heard of it. This seems to be changing though, and some programs like the collaborative research launched by President Obama in 2013 ("BRAIN Initiative"), let us think of a better future for aphasia victims and their relatives.

This is where this film comes into picture: now it is more needed than ever to tell the story of aphasia. The audience has not yet seen any documentaries about this issue, and there is an increasing number of people suffering from it. Now, more than ever, society has to understand aphasia.

Comment