Posterior Cortical Atrophy (PCA)

Posterior Cortical Atrophy is commonly thought to be a rare form of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). This means that it is most frequently caused by the same disease process as AD, but the way it is experienced is different to that of AD. The symptoms experienced by someone with a diagnosis of PCA arise from the impact the disease has on the back (posterior) of the brain, in the occipital and parietal lobes. This region of our brain has a number of functions including the ability to interpret what we are seeing and to interpret where we are in relation to the space around us. Therefore PCA affects aspects of our everyday skills such as our ability to read, to write, to judge distance and to ‘see’ the world around us. Because of the difficulties experiences it is not unusual for people to have been to see their optician before approaching health care professionals with their concerns. This website provides the following information about PCA;

  • What is posterior cortical atrophy?
  • Differences to typical Alzheimer’s disease
  • Symptoms
  • Getting a diagnosis
  • Tests
  • Later stages of the disease
  • Treatment
  • Supporting people with posterior cortical atrophy

This information can also be downloaded from the website in a printable form. Also available on the website are some people talking about their personal experience of living with PCA, information about the national support group for PCA and notes of their meetings which are also available in audio format.

You might also find this blog by Valerie Blumenthal helpful. She lives with PCA, having experienced a long period of uncertainty before her symptoms were recognised. Valerie speaks honestly and openly about her experiences.