Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA) is a rare neurological syndrome in which language capabilities become slowly and progressively impaired, while other mental functions remain preserved. Unlike other forms of aphasia resulting from stroke or traumatic brain injury, PPA is a degenerative brain condition. It results from deterioration of brain tissue affecting areas of the brain that are important for speech and language.
The evaluation for dementia also includes a brain imaging study. This is done in the form of a computed axial tomography scan (CAT scan) or a magnetic resonance imaging scan (MRI scan). Both of these methods provide a picture of the brain so that any structural abnormalities, such as a stroke, tumor or hydrocephalus--all of which can give rise to dementia-like symptoms, can be detected.
Adults of any age can develop PPA, but it is more common in people under the age of 65. People with PPA can have a variety of different language symptoms and no two cases are exactly the same. But this only means that there is no evidence for a tumor or stroke. It cannot tell us anything about the microscopic degenerative changes that have occurred.
Major research on disease:
People with PPA and age-matched control subjects will participate in this study. Participants will be asked to return two years later to compare changes between the two visits. The materials collected from the study will be used to investigate a variety of topics. Detailed MRI studies of the logopenic variant of PPA show subtle atrophy in the core language regions of the left hemisphere.