Handbook of Clinical Neurology - Chapter 6: Clinical and neuroimaging characteristics of primary progressive aphasia

Elsevier, Handbook of Clinical Neurology Volume 185, 2022, Pages 81-97
Donna C. Tippett and Zafer Keser

The chapter covers the clinical syndrome of a primary progressive aphasia (PPA), the demographics of this rare neurodegenerative disease, defining clinical and neuroanatomic characteristics of each PPA variant, disease progression, and behavioral features. The chapter begins with a brief introduction that includes references to seminal papers that defined this clinical syndrome and its three variants. The classic PPA subtypes discussed in the chapter are semantic variant PPA (svPPA), nonfluent/agrammatic PPA (nfaPPA), and logopenic variant PPA (lvPPA). The key language and cognitive characteristics, and language tasks that can elicit these language impairments, are detailed. Overlap in the clinical profiles of the PPA variants, which make differential diagnosis challenging, are explained. Disease progression is described, revealing that the PPA variants become more similar over time. Although PPA is language-predominant dementia, there are behavioral manifestations, particularly in svPPA. Changes in behavior in this variant are addressed as well as behavioral changes in nfaPPA and lvPPA that are less well recognized. The patterns of atrophy in the left temporal, parietal, and/or frontal cortices unique to each PPA variant are described. The underlying neuropathologies of the PPA variants are discussed, specifically tauopathies and non-tauopathies associated with svPPA and nfaPPA and Alzheimer's disease pathology in lvPPA.