The term primary progressive aphasia (PPA) describes a group of neurodegenerative disorders with predominant speech and language dysfunction as their main feature. There are three main variants – the semantic variant, the nonfluent or agrammatic variant and the logopenic variant – each with specific linguistic deficits and different neuroanatomical involvement. There are currently no curative treatments or symptomatic pharmacological therapies. However, speech and language therapists have developed several impairment-based interventions and compensatory strategies for use in the clinic. Unfortunately, multiple barriers still need to be overcome to improve access to care for people with PPA, including increasing awareness among referring clinicians, improving training of speech and language therapists and developing evidence-based guidelines for therapeutic interventions. This review highlights this inequity and the reasons why neurologists should refer people with PPA to speech and language therapists.
- primary progressive aphasia
- frontotemporal dementia
- speech therapy
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Contributors AV and JDR drafted the original version of the manuscript. All authors contributed to the critical review and final manuscript.
Funding JDR is an MRC Clinician Scientist (MR/M008525/1) and has received funding from the NIHR Rare Diseases Translational Research Collaboration (BRC149/NS/MH), the Bluefield Project and the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration. JDW receives grant support from the Alzheimer's Society and Alzheimer's Research UK. ER is supported by AG055425 and AG13854 (Alzheimer Disease Core Centre) from the National Institute on Ageing. AV is funded by an NIHR Doctoral Research Fellowship (DRF-2015-08-182).
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned. Externally peer reviewed by Michael O’Sullivan, Queensland, Australia.