Understanding Primary Progressive Aphasia

Primary progressive aphasia is a rare neurological disorder characterized by people having trouble using word endings, verb tenses and other aspects concerning language use. People suffering from this condition can have difficulties naming objects and usually affects older people.

Causes of primary progressive aphasia

Main cause of primary progressive aphasia can be found in the language center of the brain located in the left hemisphere. People with primary progressive aphasia may show a marked shrinkage of the brain’s language center on brain scans. In this case, there is also a reduction of brain activity that can be noted.

Symptoms of primary progressive aphasia

Symptoms of primary progressive aphasia may vary in people. Some may show difficulties in naming objects. Some may display frequent pauses in speech by thinking of the right word to say.

Some may have difficulty comprehending while reading as well as an increasing inability to discern even common word meanings. Some may frequently misuse word endings, verb tenses and other aspects associated with the proper use of language.

How primary aphasia is diagnosed?

There is no specific test that will allow doctors to determine primary progressive aphasia. It usually takes taking a variety of general tests and eliminating and ruling out other possible causes of the symptoms.

Written and verbal tests help measure cognitive functions. Doctors may take also blood tests that may help determine other possible causes of the symptoms. Brain scans may also be taken to determine underlying causes in the brain that may affect its proper function.

How to treat primary aphasia?

There is yet no known drug that can be used for specifically treating primary progressive aphasia. Speech and language therapy is usually the more common option in helping people make up for their eroding language skills.

Use of pictures or word books may help people with such a condition to enhance their means to communicate if they find it difficult to articulate certain words.


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