Neuropsychological Assessment of Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA) The goal of this article is to outline the utility of both language and non-language testing in making a diagnosis of logopenic, nonfluent/agrammatic, and semantic variant primary progressive aphasias PPA as well as delineate important behavioral and speech features that can be detected via clinical observation. We review speech/language presentations, ... Article
Article  |   October 01, 2014
Neuropsychological Assessment of Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA)
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Brianne M. Bettcher
    Memory and Aging Center, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
  • Virginia E. Sturm
    Memory and Aging Center, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
  • Financial Disclosure: Brianne M. Bettcher is an Assistant Professor at the University of California San Francisco. Virginia E. Sturm is an Assistant Professor at the University of California San Francisco.
    Financial Disclosure: Brianne M. Bettcher is an Assistant Professor at the University of California San Francisco. Virginia E. Sturm is an Assistant Professor at the University of California San Francisco.×
  • Nonfinancial Disclosure: Brianne M. Bettcher has previously published in the subject area. Virginia E. Sturm has previously published in the subject area.
    Nonfinancial Disclosure: Brianne M. Bettcher has previously published in the subject area. Virginia E. Sturm has previously published in the subject area.×
Article Information
Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Normal Language Processing / Language Disorders / Aphasia / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Articles
Article   |   October 01, 2014
Neuropsychological Assessment of Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA)
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, October 2014, Vol. 24, 128-136. doi:10.1044/nnsld24.4.128
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, October 2014, Vol. 24, 128-136. doi:10.1044/nnsld24.4.128

The goal of this article is to outline the utility of both language and non-language testing in making a diagnosis of logopenic, nonfluent/agrammatic, and semantic variant primary progressive aphasias PPA as well as delineate important behavioral and speech features that can be detected via clinical observation. We review speech/language presentations, non-language cognitive domains, and behavioral manifestations associated with each disorder. Patients with logopenic variant PPA evidence non-language cognitive impairments that include acalculia, phonological working memory deficits, and mild/variable difficulties with memory and visuospatial functions. In contrast, patients with nonfluent/agrammatic variant PPA display non-language impairments in executive functions, and show relative preservation of memory and visuospatial functions. Finally, semantic variant patients display behavioral changes in social comportment as well as non-language difficulties with category fluency and arithmetic facts; they display relative preservation, if not enhancement, of visuospatial functions. In summary, broad neural networks that support both language and non-language functions are affected in PPA syndromes, thus a comprehensive assessment of additional neuropsychological domains may aid in solidifying and subtyping PPA diagnoses.

Become a SIG Affiliate
Pay Per View
Entire SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders content & archive
24-hour access
This Issue
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access
We've Changed Our Publication Model...
The 19 individual SIG Perspectives publications have been relaunched as the new, all-in-one Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups.