Primary progressive aphasia

Primary progressive aphasia (PPA) is a condition caused by damage to parts of the brain that control our personality, emotions, language and behaviour. In most cases, this damage is caused by frontotemporal dementia. Most people who develop PPA will be in their 50s and 60s.

The term PPA covers three separate conditions. In all three, people’s speech and language is usually affected first, but in different ways:

Semantic dementia
Over time, people forget the meaning of words as well as objects.

Progressive non-fluent aphasia
People find it harder to speak and are more likely to make mistakes in how they say words or sentences.

Logopenic aphasia
People often pause while speaking as they try to find the right word.

This information was written in May 2017 and is due for review in May 2019. Please contact us if you would like a version with references.

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