Treatment for Progressive Impairments of Language Primary progressive aphasia (PPA) is a relatively new diagnostic entity, for which few behavioral treatments have been investigated. Recent work has helped to clarify the nature of distinct PPA variants, including a nonfluent variant (NFV-PPA), a logopenic variant (LV-PPA), and a semantic variant (SV-PPA). This paper reviews treatment research to ... Article
Article  |   April 01, 2010
Treatment for Progressive Impairments of Language
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Maya Henry
    University of California, San Francisco, CA
Article Information
Development / Augmentative & Alternative Communication / Special Populations / Normal Language Processing / Language Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Articles
Article   |   April 01, 2010
Treatment for Progressive Impairments of Language
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, April 2010, Vol. 20, 13-20. doi:10.1044/nnsld20.1.13
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, April 2010, Vol. 20, 13-20. doi:10.1044/nnsld20.1.13
Abstract

Primary progressive aphasia (PPA) is a relatively new diagnostic entity, for which few behavioral treatments have been investigated. Recent work has helped to clarify the nature of distinct PPA variants, including a nonfluent variant (NFV-PPA), a logopenic variant (LV-PPA), and a semantic variant (SV-PPA). This paper reviews treatment research to date in each subtype of PPA, including restitutive, augmentative, and functional approaches. The evidence suggests that restitutive behavioral treatment can result in improved or stabilized language performance within treated domains. Specifically, sentence production and lexical retrieval have been addressed in NFV-PPA, whereas lexical retrieval has been the primary object of treatment in LV and SV-PPA. Use of augmentative communication techniques, as well as implementation of functional communication approaches, also may result in improved communication skills in individuals with PPA. The ideal treatment approach may be one that combines restitutive, augmentative, and functional approaches to treatment, in order to maximize residual cognitive-linguistic skills in patients. Additional research is warranted to determine which modes of treatment are most beneficial in each type of PPA at various stages of severity.

Acknowledgment
This work was supported by grants DC008286, DC007646, and DC009145 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Support was also provided by the Arizona Alzheimer's Consortium (Arizona Alzheimer's Disease Core Center) grant NIA P30AG19610.
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