Dysphasia, also known as aphasia, is the medical term for difficulty in understanding and producing language. In multiple sclerosis this is caused by disruptions in the parts of the brain that control your thought, short-term memory, verbal fluency or attention.

People living with MS might notice dysphasia as being difficulty working out what someone is saying, or as having trouble recalling the right words at a particular moment.

Dysphasia is quite rare in MS, and is not thought to represent the permanent loss of knowledge, just difficulty in accessing it quickly. However, you might have dysphasia as well as other problems with thinking or memory, or problems in coordinating the muscles used in speaking and breathing.

A speech and language therapist can sometimes help you find ways to manage the problems this symptom may cause.

You can read more about word finding problems in our Staying Smart section, where we share tips on how to improve and manage problems with language recall and dysphasia.

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