Primary Progressive Aphasia | Norton Healthcare Louisville, Ky.

Primary Progressive Aphasia

The multidisciplinary team at Norton Neuroscience Institute has the skill and experience to manage the symptoms of primary progressive aphasia (PPA) and help moderate risk factors.

More patients in Louisville and Southern Indiana get care at Norton Neuroscience Institute than with any other provider in the area. The comprehensive range of board-certified specialists provides a diversity of viewpoints to develop a customized care plan for each patient.

Primary progressive aphasia is a progressive neurological disorder that affects the brain’s language abilities. Patients gradually lose the ability to speak and write, and eventually lose the ability to understand spoken and written language.

Primary Progressive Aphasia Causes

Primary progressive aphasia is caused by a shrinking of certain parts of the left side of the front of the brain. This shrinking typically is caused by abnormal proteins in the brain. No environmental risk factors have been linked with primary progressive aphasia. There is some genetic element in families where other types of degenerative brain disorders are present.

PPA Symptoms

There are a few types of PPA, and symptoms vary from type to type, as well from individual to individual. The hallmark symptom of PPA is communication difficulty that worsens for about a year without significant changes in thinking or behavior. General symptoms include:

  • Difficulty understanding language including spoken and written words
  • Struggling to name objects or recall specific words
  • Improper use of grammar and syntax
  • Frequent pausing while speaking to remember words

As the disease progresses, patients eventually lose the ability to speak, write and understand language.

Prevention and Treatment

People with childhood learning disabilities or a family history of PPA are at a higher risk of developing the disorder. Doctors may suggest tests to determine if a patient has primary progressive aphasia.

While there is no cure, symptoms can be managed as they appear or worsen.

Speech-language pathology can help the patient deal with the loss of language. Patients can learn new communicaton strategies such as nonverbal techniques. These include gesturing or pointing to cards with the words or images they want to express.

Louisville’s Leader in Neurological Care

More patients from Louisville and Southern Indiana seek treatment from Norton Neuroscience Institute’s nationally recognized neurologists and neurosurgeons than any other provider in the area.

  • We have more than 60 medical, surgical and research specialists dedicated to providing innovative care to those with brain, spine and nervous system conditions.
  • We use advanced minimally invasive neurosurgery equipment that speeds your recovery and minimizes pain.
  • Our multidisciplinary clinics offer easy access to specialists in oncology, cardiovascular, orthopedics,  and behavioral health.
  • Norton Healthcare has the largest network of accredited stroke centers in the area.
    • Norton Brownsboro Hospital’s designation as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by the Joint Commission and American Stroke Association represents the highest level of care.
    • The Joint Commission also certified Norton Audubon Hospital and Norton Hospital as Primary Stroke Centers and Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital as an Acute Stroke Ready Hospital.
  • Norton Neuroscience Institute Resource Center navigators help educate patients and their families about new diagnoses, available treatments and managing their disease.
  • We are nationally recognized by Becker’s Hospital Review as a Top 100 neurosurgery and spine program.
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