Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA)

Primary progressive aphasia (PPA) is the form of frontotemporal dementia that affects the temporal lobes. There are 2 main forms of dementia which primarily affect our temporal lobes, and therefore impact upon language. These are;

  • Progressive non-fluent aphasia
  • Semantic dementia

These forms of dementia primarily affect our ability to communicate and understand language and include difficulties with;

  • Understanding what is said
  • Being able to say what we want to say
  • Reading and writing
  • Knowing facts about the world
  • Recognising objects

Other forms of dementia have difficulties with language, such as Alzheimer’s disease. However the impact of the language difficulties in PPA is the primary difficulty experienced. Also in the early experience of PPA these difficulties are often the only symptom, so other symptoms of dementia such as memory impairment are less commonly experienced. PPA is also different from the language difficulties that may occur when a person has a stroke. This factsheet explains in more detail the common features of PPA. including;

  • What it is
  • Does it run in families
  • How is it diagnosed
  • Treatment

By its very nature, there are few written accounts of living with PPA. One account that is very helpful is by a lady called Joanne Douglas, which can be found here. This includes tips for people living with PPA and tips for people who are living with a person with PPA.