What Is PPA?
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.
Symptoms of primary progressive aphasia 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 communication strategies such as nonverbal techniques. These include gesturing or pointing to cards with the words or images they want to express.
Primary progressive aphasia is caused by a shrinking of certain parts of the brain responsible for language. Abnormal proteins in the brain are typically the cause. No environmental risk factors have been linked with primary progressive aphasia. There may be a genetic element in families with a history of other types of degenerative brain disorders.
The board-certified and fellowship-trained specialists at Norton Neuroscience Institute Memory Center are at the leading edge of advances in caring for those with primary progressive aphasia.
More patients in Louisville and Southern Indiana trust Norton Neuroscience Institute with their neurological care than any other provider in the area. Patients find a comprehensive range of board-certified specialists who provide a diversity of viewpoints to develop a customized care plan for each patient.
Norton Neuroscience Institute Resource Center offers resources to help families and individuals coping with primary progressive aphasia.
Primary Progressive Aphasia Symptoms
There are a few types of primary progressive aphasia. Symptoms vary from type to type as well from individual to individual. The hallmark symptom of primary progressive aphasia is communication difficulty due to loss of language that worsens gradually overtime. General symptoms include:
- Difficulty understanding language, including spoken and written words
- Struggling to name objects or recall specific words
- Newly incorrect 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. They may develop additional symptoms outside of language suggestive of other forms of dementia.