Dysnomia (disorder) - Diagnosis

Diagnosis

The best way to see if anomic aphasia has developed is by using verbal as well as imaging tests. The combination of the two tests seem to be most effective. Either test done alone will give false positives or false negatives. For example, the verbal test is used to see if there is a speech disorder and whether it is a problem in speech production or comprehension. Patients with Alzheimer's disease have speech problems that are linked to dementia or progressive aphasias which can include anomia. The imaging test, mostly MRI, is ideal for lesion mapping or viewing deterioration in the brain. However, imaging cannot diagnose anomia on its own because the lesions may not be located deep enough to damage the white matter or damaging the arcuate fasciculus. However, anomic aphasia is the most difficult to associate with a specific lesion location in the brain. Therefore the combination of speech tests and imaging tests has the highest sensitivity and specificity.

However, it is also important to do a hearing test in case that the patient cannot hear the words or sentences needed in the speech repetition test. In the speech tests, the person is asked to repeat a sentence with common words and if the person cannot identify the word but he or she can describe it then the person is highly likely to have anomic aphasia. However, to be completely sure, the test is given as a person is in an MRI and the exact location of the lesions and areas activated by speech are pinpointed. Although no simpler or cheaper option is available as of now, lesion mapping and speech repetition tests are the main ways of diagnosing anomic aphasia.

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