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Primary Progressive Aphasia

Primary progressive aphasia (PPA) is a general term for a collection of clinical syndromes with onset frequently occurring prior to 65 years of age, characterized by ongoing deterioration in language abilities (speaking, comprehending, reading, and writing) caused by degenerative brain disease. This entry describes the three main clinical variants of PPA, together with a brief overview of speech pathology assessments and interventions that may assist individuals with PPA and their families.

The basic criteria for diagnosis of PPA have been described by neurologist Marcel Mesulam, who first coined the name primary progressive aphasia. During the early course of PPA, the most prominent difficulty is with language, not episodic or visual memory, visuoperceptual abilities, or behavior. The language difficulty is apparent on clinical investigation and during everyday ...

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