Primary progressive aphasia (PPA) is a condition caused by damage to parts of the brain that control our personality, emotions, language and behaviour.

What is Primary progressive aphasia?

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 and concepts.

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.

What is Primary progressive aphasia?

Information in this booklet is for anyone who wants to know more about primary progressive aphasia (PPA). This includes people living with PPA, their carers, families and friends.


Order health information

Alzheimer’s Research UK has a wide range of information about dementia. Order booklets or download them from our online form.

This information was written in April 2019 and is due for review in April 2021. Please contact us if you would like a version with references.

Was this information helpful?

Let us know what you think by filling out this short survey.


Dementia Research Infoline

Want to know more about current research? Keen to get involved in research projects?

Contact the Dementia Research Infoline,

9am-5pm, Monday to Friday

0300 111 5 111