Primary Progressive Aphasia

Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA.
Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders (Impact Factor: 2.44). 10/2007; 21(4):S8-S11. DOI: 10.1097/WAD.0b013e31815bf7e1
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The diagnosis of primary progressive aphasia (PPA) is made in any patient in whom a language impairment (aphasia), caused by a neurodegenerative disease (progressive), constitutes the most salient aspect of the clinical picture (primary). The language impairment can be fluent or nonfluent and may or may not interfere with word comprehension. Memory for recent events is relatively preserved although memory scores obtained in verbally mediated tests may be abnormal. Lesser changes in behavior and object recognition may be present but are not the leading factors that bring the patient to medical attention. This selective clinical pattern is most conspicuous in the initial stages of the disease. Progressive nonfluent aphasia and some types of semantic dementia can be considered subtypes of PPA. Initially brought to the attention of contemporary literature 25 years ago, PPA has recently witnessed substantial progress related to its neurolinguistic features, neuroanatomy, imaging, neuropathology, genetics, and risk factors.

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    • "The diagnosis of PPA is based on the presence of aphasia in the earliest stages of illness but also on the absence of impairment in other cognitive domains, including episodic memory, reasoning, and visuospatial functions [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]. However, the clinician is frequently faced with patients and families who report " memory loss " even though there is usually little indication that daily living activities are being undermined by impaired episodic memory. "
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: To investigate cognitive components and mechanisms of learning and memory in primary progressive aphasia (PPA) using a simple clinical measure, the Three Words Three Shapes Test (3W3S). Background: PPA patients can complain of memory loss and may perform poorly in standard tests of memory. The extent to which these signs and symptoms reflect dysfunction of the left hemisphere language versus limbic memory network remains unknown. Methods: 3W3S data from 26 patients with a clinical diagnosis of PPA were compared with previously published data from patients with typical dementia of the Alzheimer type (DAT) and cognitively healthy elders. Results: PPA patients showed two bottlenecks in new learning. First, they were impaired in the effortless (but not effortful) on-line encoding of verbal (but not non-verbal) items. Second, they were impaired in the retrieval (but not retention) of verbal (but not non-verbal) items. In contrast, DAT patients had impairments also in effortful on-line encoding and retention of verbal and nonverbal items. Conclusions: PPA selectively interferes with spontaneous on-line encoding and subsequent retrieval of verbal information. This combination may underlie poor memory test performance and is likely to reflect the dysfunction of the left hemisphere language rather than medial temporal memory network.
    Behavioural neurology 03/2012; 26(1-2). DOI:10.3233/BEN-2012-110239 · 1.45 Impact Factor
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    • "Language deficits have also been reported for individuals with primary progressive aphasia (PPA), a language impairment caused by a neurodegenerative disease [39] [40]. According to current guidelines, PPA can be subdivided into three variants: agrammatic/nonfluent (PPA- G), logopenic (PPA-L), and semantic (PPA-S) [27] [29] [42]. "
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    • "With treatment, the patient's global agraphia evolved to surface dysgraphia but follow-up results were not mentioned. There are few treatment studies in PPA [33] and these studies have focused on treatment of word retrieval with encouraging results for trained items, primarily in the semantic variant of PPA [4–7,11]. There are also a few studies of word retrieval treatment in non-fluent/agrammatic variant PPA [7] [8] [9] [10], with no evidence of lasting effects. "
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of this study is to determine which cognitive processes underlying spelling are most affected in the three variants of primary progressive aphasia (PPA): Logopenic variant primary progressive aphasia (lvPPA), Semantic variant primary progressive aphasia (svPPA), and Nonfluent variant primary progressive aphasia (nfvPPA). 23 PPA patients were administered The Johns Hopkins Dysgraphia Battery to assess spelling. Subtests evaluate for effects of word frequency, concreteness, word length, grammatical word class, lexicality (words vs pseudowords), and "regularity" by controlling for the other variables. Significant effects of each variable were identified with chi square tests. Responses on all spelling to dictation tests were scored by error type. 16 of the 23 subjects also had a high resolution MRI brain scan to identify areas of atrophy. We identified 4 patterns of spelling that could be explained by damage to one or more cognitive processes underlying spelling. Nine patients (3 unclassifiable, 4 with lvPPA, 2 with svPPA) had dysgraphia explicable by impaired access to lexical representations, with reliance on sublexical phonology-to-orthography conversion (POC). Two patients (with nfvPPA) showed dysgraphia explicable by impaired access to lexical representations and complete disruption of sublexical POC. Seven patients (4 with lvPPA, 1 with svPPA, 2 unclassifiable) showed dysgraphia explicable by impaired access to lexical-semantic representations and/or lexical representations with partially spared sublexical POC mechanisms. Five patients (1 with nfvPPA, 2 with svPPA, 1 with lvPPA, and 1 unclassifiable) showed dysgraphia explicable by impairment of the graphemic buffer. Any cognitive process underlying spelling can be affected in PPA. Predominance of phonologically plausible errors, more accurate spelling of regular words than irregular words, and more accurate spelling of pseudowords than words (indicating spared POC mechanisms) may indicate a low probability of progression to nfvPPA.
    Cortex 03/2011; 47(3):342-52. DOI:10.1016/j.cortex.2009.12.001 · 5.13 Impact Factor
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