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

It is important to get the right diagnosis so that the right help can be given. If you are worried about your health or someone else’s, you should talk to your doctor.

If your doctor suspects PPA 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, and memory.

You may also have blood tests, an MRI brain scan or other specialist tests. Together all of these will help a doctor to work out what is causing the speech, language and other problems.

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

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.

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