It is important to get a diagnosis of dementia as soon as possible, so that the right treatment and support can be given. If you are worried about symptoms of dementia, your health or someone else’s, you should make an appointment with your doctor.

After some initial tests if your doctor suspects primary progressive aphasia or another form of dementia, they may send you to a specialist clinic.

Here, a doctor or nurse will run through more detailed tests with you. These may include:

  • Questions about your symptoms and medical history.
  • Speaking to your partner or someone close to you about the problems you are having.
  • A physical check-up.
  • Assessments of your thinking and language skills, memory, and other aspects such as behaviour, sometimes with a specialist psychologist.

You may also have blood tests, an MRI brain scan or other specialist tests.

Together these will help a doctor to work out what is causing the speech and language difficulties and other symptoms.

PPA is a rare type of dementia, not often seen by doctors. This means it may take longer than usual to get the right diagnosis.

When a diagnosis is made, many people will want to make plans for the future. This includes decisions about working, lifestyle and driving, care options, legal and money matters. Find out about help and support for families affected by dementia.

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.

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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 2021 and is due for review in April 2023. Please contact us if you would like a version with references.

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