Language Disorder
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Bret Mobley, MD, MS

Bret Mobley, MD, MS (Neuropathology)

Dr. Mobley graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School, completing a masters degree in neuroscience between his second and third years of medical school. He trained as a resident in pathology at Stanford University Hospital before joining the faculty of Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville Tennessee in 2010. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2018 and to Neuropathology Division Director in 2020.

Shohei Harase, MD

Shohei Harase, MD (Neurology)

Dr. Harase spent his junior and senior high school years in Finland and the U.S. After graduating from the University of Washington (Bachelor of Science, Molecular and Cellular Biology), he worked for Apple Japan Inc. before entering the University of the Ryukyus School of Medicine. He completed his residency at Okinawa Prefectural Chubu Hospital, where he received the Best Resident Award in 2016 and 2017. In 2021, he joined the Department of Cerebrovascular Medicine at the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center, specializing in hyperacute stroke.

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Content updated on Apr 4, 2024

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  • Unable to speak or using incorrect words

  • Unable to speak using correct words

  • Keep saying incorrect words

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About the Symptom

Struggles with communication, such as stuttering or forming sentences. Language impairment is linked to brain disorders, but can also occur with vocal cord problems.

When to see a doctor

Seek professional care if you experience any of the following symptoms

  • Unable to speak or using incorrect words

Possible Causes

Generally, Language disorder can be related to:

  • Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (AIDS-Related PML)

    Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) is a serious neurological disorder caused by the destruction of cells that produce myelin (protective layer around nerves) in the white matter of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). It is caused by the reactivation of the JC (John Cunningham) virus. Most adults have been exposed to this virus, and it usually doesn't cause any problems, but people with a weakened immune system are at higher risk for developing PML. PML is typically associated with patients who have HIV/AIDS, but it can also occur in patients without HIV who have a weakened immune system for other reasons.

  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) disease in which the immune system attacks parts of the brain and spinal cord. The direct cause of MS remains unknown, but certain risk factors have been identified such as low vitamin D levels, tobacco smoking, exposure to UV radiation, childhood obesity, and infection with the virus that causes mononucleosis. The disease tends to affect young people more commonly as well as people living in higher latitudes. MS typically occurs in "attacks" which can include but are not limited to painful eye movements, blurry vision in one eye, numbness or weakness in hands or feet on one side, or double vision.

  • CADASIL / CARASIL

    Cerebral Autosomal-Dominant Arteriopathy with Subcortical Infarcts and Leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL) and Cerebral Autosomal-Recessive Arteriopathy with Subcortical Infarcts and Leukoencephalopathy (CARASIL) are hereditary conditions that damage small blood vessels in the brain. This causes decreased blood flow to the brain, resulting in tissue death, and increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

  • Subacute Cerebellar Degeneration (Note the Presence of Malignant Tumors)
  • Multiple System Atrophy - Cerebellar Subtype (MSA-C)

Related serious diseases

Sometimes, Language disorder may be related to these serious diseases:

Doctor's Diagnostic Questions

Your doctor may ask these questions to check for this symptom:

  • Do you have difficulty speaking or unintentionally say words?

  • Have you temporarily lost consciousness?

  • Do you have headaches or a heavy feeling in your head?

  • Do you have a fever?

  • Do your arms or legs feel weak?

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Reviewed By:

Bret Mobley, MD, MS

Bret Mobley, MD, MS (Neuropathology)

Dr. Mobley graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School, completing a masters degree in neuroscience between his second and third years of medical school. He trained as a resident in pathology at Stanford University Hospital before joining the faculty of Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville Tennessee in 2010. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2018 and to Neuropathology Division Director in 2020.

Shohei Harase, MD

Shohei Harase, MD (Neurology)

Dr. Harase spent his junior and senior high school years in Finland and the U.S. After graduating from the University of Washington (Bachelor of Science, Molecular and Cellular Biology), he worked for Apple Japan Inc. before entering the University of the Ryukyus School of Medicine. He completed his residency at Okinawa Prefectural Chubu Hospital, where he received the Best Resident Award in 2016 and 2017. In 2021, he joined the Department of Cerebrovascular Medicine at the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center, specializing in hyperacute stroke.

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