Primary Progressive Aphasia: How new research is building communication bridges for people with rare form of dementia

Primary Progressive Aphasia: How new research is building communication bridges for people with rare form of dementia

Primary Progressive Aphasia

Love, anger, warmth, soothe, connect:  words and your ability to chain them into an expression of self is a skill many of us take for granted. When this ability changes, declines and is lost, the ability to connect with others, to describe and be in the word is dramatically changed.  This is the case for people living with PPA or Primary Progressive Aphasia.

The results of a pilot program published in the Journal of Communication Disorders on April, 2017, demonstrates how group intervention for PPA patients and their caregivers is having a positive effect.

According to Dr.Regina Jokel, a speech pathologist, language rehabilitation has made progress in managing the disorder, but there have been limited PPA treatment options to date.  A 10 week program covers aspects of

  • Language activities,
  • Learning communication strategies and
  • Counseling and education

So, What is Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA)

Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA) is neuro degenerative a language disorder. It is distinct and separate to aphasia experience in people after a stroke, brain tumour or trauma. There is a deterioration in brain tissue responsible for speech and language.  A person with PPA will often struggle with incorrect word substitutions, mispronounced words and/or difficulty understanding simple words and forgetting names of familiar objects and people.  At its most severe a person will have a near inability to speak. Over time a person experiencing PPA their language ability declines before the memory systems. This appears to be in opposite to what a person living with Alzheimer’s disease will experience

How Many Australians Are Affected By PPA?

The people living with PPA in Australia is considered to be a small population compared to other degenerative neurological conditions. Estimates range from 2- 15 per 100000 people living in the community are living with PPA.

Summing Up

  • Living and thriving with dementia at home is a goal we have for our clients and offer a dementia care service program. As you would appreciate we’re keen to see research progress and innovation in other fields especially where there is a measurable pay off of improving every day living.  No doubt you’d appreciate having the right team with the right skills matched to your needs and goals is an ingredient to success. We hope to see more of these programs being accessible to our clients.

Dementia Therapy: Occupational Therapy services offering  you a practical home program designed to optimise self sufficiency, reduce carer stress and enhance quality of life. Click here to take advantage of this dementia therapy service, today.

Journal Reference:

  1. Regina Jokel, Jed Meltzer, J. D.R., L. D.M., J. J.C., E. A.N., C. D.T. Group intervention for individuals with primary progressive aphasia and their spouses: Who comes first? Journal of Communication Disorders, 2017; 66: 51 DOI: 10.1016/j.jcomdis.2017.04.002

Article Source: 

“New hope for patients with primary progressive aphasia.” ScienceDaily. May 2017.

Primary Progressive Aphasia Resource List


Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top