PPA commonly begins as a subtle disorder of language, progressing to a nearly total inability to speak, in its most severe stage. The type or pattern of the language deficit may differ from patient to patient. The initial language disturbance may be fluent aphasia (i.e., the person may have normal or even increased rate of word production) or non-fluent aphasia (speech becomes effortful and the person produces fewer words).
The 30-40% probability of AD, some physicians will prescribe AD drugs such as Exelon (rivastigmine), Razadyne (galantamine), Aricept (donepezil) or Namenda (memantine). None have been shown to improve PPA. Speech therapy may offer benefits in the early stages by teaching more effective communication strategies and ways to compensate for language difficulties.
Since a decline in language abilities is the primary symptom of PPA, it is important to determine which components of language use are most affected, how severely affected they are, and what can be done to improve communication. A Speech-Language Pathologist evaluates different aspects of language in detail and can make recommendations for strategies to improve communication.
Major research on disease:
PPA is not considered a hereditary disease. However, relatives of a person with any form of frontotemporal lobar degeneration, including PPA, are at slightly greater risk of developing PPA or another form of the condition. There are no known environmental risk factors for the progressive aphasias. However, one observational, retrospective study suggested that vasectomy could be a risk factor for PPA in men.