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Difference Between Dementia And Aphasia

What Are The Symptoms

alzheimer’s disease vs dementia

With different types of PPA, the symptoms can differ. However, across the condition as a whole, the following are among the initial symptoms to watch out for:

  • Slowed speech and hesitations
  • Difficulty following a conversation or understanding what words mean
  • Mispronouncing words

Its worth remembering that not everyone will have symptoms fitting into one of the three main types, and Hardy explains that these individuals might be described as having a diagnosis of mixed PPA or PPA not otherwise specified.

Causes Of A Rapidly Progressive Dementia

There are clearly other disorders which cause rapidly progressive dementia, but I am dismissing many on the basis of the normal MRI and CSF and the lack of encephalopathic features. There are peculiar chronic encephalitic illnesses, such as Rasmussens encephalitis and Landau-Kleffner syndrome, which are predominantly diseases of childhood and adolescence, although they can present in later life. Cerebral vasculitis can be a great mimic, is a great favourite in clinicopathological conferences, and can present focally. In this case, however, there are no stroke or multiple sclerosis-like episodes, and the MRI was normal with no oligoclonal bands on CSF, so I think that it is almost inconceivable.

I also considered Hashimotos encephalopathy. It tends to affect young to middle aged women. It usually begins abruptly, and typically causes an encephalopathic illness. There can be focal signs, and headaches are common. The CSF is usually abnormal. Thyroid function can be normal, so it is imperative to check for thyroid autoantibodies. The progressive unremitting course in this patient is very much against this as a diagnosis.

Whipples disease is a possibility, especially given the history of weight loss. These patients also tend to be encephalopathic. Movement disorders, including oculomasticatory myorhythmia, and brain stem symptoms, are described in this condition.

Effect Of Phonemic Cueing On Picture Naming

shows the effect of phonemic cues on picture naming. All of the stroke aphasic patients showed a significant improvement with phonemic cueing . In most cases, this effect was very substantial. In contrast, phonemic cueing did not allow the SD patients to produce object names that they could not recall spontaneously. Again this result would seem to mirror the consistency and correlational analyses reported above: SD performance is invariant such that when a concept is degraded, this deficit is demonstrated across all tasks and conditions. In contrast, CVA performance is influenced by the nature of the task and can be boosted if external support is given by the examiner.

Fig. 4

Effect of phonemic cueing on picture naming.

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Alzheimer Disease And Ftd

Alzheimer disease, by far the most common dementing pathology, has also been associated with syndromes of PPA and FTD in some cases. Alzheimer disease is uncommonly found at autopsy in patients with primary progressive, nonfluent aphasia, but the association is more common in semantic dementia and is especially frequent in patients with logopenic progressive aphasia. The relationship of Alzheimer disease to the primary progressive aphasia syndromes is covered in more detail in the section on Primary Progressive Aphasia. In addition, there is now a recognized syndrome of frontal variant Alzheimer disease.”

Ethics Approval And Consent To Participate

Dementia and Aphasia

The study was declared to the National Commission for Information Technology and Civil Liberties the number R04-051. All clinical work was conducted in compliance with current Good Clinical Practices as referenced in the International Conference on Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use guidelines, local regulatory requirements and the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki. All patients enrolled in the study provided information before their participation. All clinical sites were required to sign a study-specific site blinding plan. This study is registered on ClinicalTrials. gov .

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When To Seek Medical Help

Many adults can relate to the feeling of being unable to retrieve a word. They may call it a “brain jam” or “brain fog.” But if you’ve noticed this happening to a loved one with greater frequency, start taking note of when and how often it occurs. Does it happen when they’re tired, multi-tasking, or extremely stressed? Or does it happen when they’re calm and relaxed?

If you see a pattern that is truly interfering with their ability to communicate effectively, it may be helpful to ask a mutual acquaintance if they’ve noticed any changes in your loved one’s behavior before consulting a healthcare provider.

How Is Frontotemporal Dementia Treated

Currently, no treatments are available to cure or slow the progression of FTD, but healthcare providers may prescribe medicine to treat symptoms. Antidepressants may help treat anxiety and control obsessive-compulsive behaviors and other symptoms. Prescription sleeping aids can help ease insomnia and other sleep disturbances. Antipsychotic medicine may reduce irrational and compulsive behaviors.

Behavior modification may help control unacceptable or risky behaviors.

Speech and language pathologists and physical and occupational therapists can help adjustment to some of the changes caused by FTD.

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Symptoms Of Primary Progressive Aphasia

Alzheimers can cause primary progressive aphasia to occur. In these cases, a person may notice speech changes first and only notice symptoms of dementia as the condition progresses.

Alzheimers Research UK notes that the symptoms a person may experience depend on the variant of primary progressive aphasia:

Dementia & Alzheimer’s Disease

Aphasia: Wernicke’s vs Broca’s – Clinical Anatomy | Kenhub

It is easy to confuse some of the symptoms of aphasia and dementia, which often leads to questions on whether the two medical conditions are related.

Before we go deeper into answering the query, it is important to first define these conditions.

Aphasia is a language or speech disorder that is a result of complications in the brain.

In Greek, the word Aphasia translates to speechlessness.

Dementia, on the other hand, is a general term that describes a range of medical conditions that are caused by abnormal brain changes.

In Latin, the term dementia stands for madness which implies severe memory loss in a person who was previously normal beyond what is expected as a person grows older.

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What Happens To Someone With Primary Progressive Aphasia

Because PPA is progressive, language ability continues to decline. Additionally, changes in non-language abilities may occur. Movement or swallowing may also become challenging for some individuals. The rate of decline is variable from person to person and unfolds over years. Scientists are working to understand why some people progress more rapidly than others.

What Are The Complications Of Frontotemporal Dementia

FTD is not life-threatening people may live with it for years. But it can lead to an increased risk for other illnesses that can be more serious. Pneumonia is the most common cause of death, with FTD. People are also at increased risk for infections and fall-related injuries.

As FTD progressively worsens, people may engage in dangerous behaviors or be unable to care for themselves. They may need 24-hour nursing care or to stay in an assisted living facility or nursing home.

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Are There Medicines To Treat Ppa

People with language difficulties may benefit from speech therapy to help them learn alternative ways to supplement and compensate for their lost skills. Maintaining adequate communication and social connections are critical. Unlike many people who develop aphasia from head injury or stroke, people with PPA do not typically improve with time, but a therapist may be helpful in maximizing abilities and exploring other ways to communicate. Non-verbal techniques for communicating, such as gesturing or pointing to pictures may help people express themselves.

Aphasia identification cards explaining that the person has a language problem may be helpful. Many speech pathologists and occupational therapists have their own practices, while others are available through local hospitals and medical centers. Ask your doctor for a referral.

What To Tell Your Kids About Aphasia

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The best thing you can help your kids keep in mind when visiting a loved one with aphasia is to show them love and respect in the same way as before they began to struggle with words. When engaging someone with aphasia in conversation, it helps to speak slowly and clearly, and only discuss one topic at a time to reduce confusion. There’s no need for your kids to try to “carry” the conversation, or pretend they can understand what’s being said. Instead, encourage your kids to relax and be themselves. While conversation is undoubtedly more difficult, there’s a good chance the person suffering from aphasia will enjoy being around the people they love.

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How Is Primary Progressive Aphasia Treated

There isnt a cure for primary progressive aphasia and no way to stop its progression. But some treatments may slow the diseases progression or increase your quality of life.

People may benefit from:

  • Participating in speech therapy and cognitive therapy can help to maintain language and thinking skills for as long as possible.
  • Learning new ways to communicate, such as sign language.
  • Taking medicines, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors to manage behavioral changes and reduce anxiety or depression associated with PPA.
  • Taking medications approved for Alzheimers disease, if thats the underlying cause of PPA.

Language And Neuropsychological Testing

Other than brain imaging studies, the most specific tests for evaluating frontotemporal lobe dementia are evaluation with standardized language batteries and neuropsychological testing. Such studies assess the specific pattern of language abnormality and the presence of other cognitive and memory deficits. Preservation of many of these functions distinguishes FTD and primary progressive aphasia syndromes from Alzheimer disease.

In distinguishing FTD from Alzheimer disease, the involvement of specific cognitive functions is the most important differentiating factor.

Grossman pointed to a double dissociation between immediate and short-term memory in a comparison study of 4 patients with PPA versus 25 patients with presumed Alzheimer disease. Immediate memory was more impaired in PPA patients, whereas short-term memory deficits characterized the deficits of patients with Alzheimer disease. The frontal cortex, especially on the left side, is thought to be the site of working or immediate memory, whereas the hippocampus and other medial temporal structures, often affected early in Alzheimer disease, represent the site of short-term memory.

PPA is a syndrome, not a pathological diagnosis. Although the term initially implied a pathology other than Alzheimer disease, we must now consider that some cases may have a syndrome of PPA but a pathological diagnosis of Alzheimer disease, or vice versa.


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Is Aphasia The Same As Memory Loss

On some level, it makes sense to group aphasia into the same category as conditions like Alzheimer’s and dementia. After all, someone suffering from aphasia will likely appear confused and unable to communicate properly. But many people suffering from aphasia don’t have any memory issues whatsoever they know exactly what they want to say, they simply struggle to find the right words to say what they’re thinking.

Whats The Difference Between Dysphasia And Aphasia

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Dysphasia and aphasia have the same causes and symptoms. Some sources suggest aphasia is more severe, and involves a complete loss of speech and comprehension abilities. Dysphasia, on the other hand, only involves moderate language impairments.

However, many health professionals and researchers use these terms interchangeably to refer to full and partial disruptions of language abilities. Aphasia is the preferred term in North America, while dysphasia may be more common in other parts of the world.

There are several different types and subtypes of dysphasia. Each type is associated with damage to a particular area of the brain. However, among those affected by dysphasia, distinctions are often less clear. Brain damage is rarely clear-cut.

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Difference Between Aphasia Dementia Explained After Bruce Willis Diagnosis

Bruce Willis is stepping away from his acting career following an aphasia diagnosis, according to an post by his daughter, Rumer Willis.

The action star is perhaps best known for his role as John McClane in the Die Hard film franchise. “This is a really challenging time for our family and we are so appreciative of your continued love, compassion and support,” Rumer wrote.

Willis’ diagnosis appears to have prompted searches for the difference between aphasia and dementia. Speaking to Newsweek, several experts have explained the two conditions.

Aphasia is a language disorder that’s caused by damage to the brain. It leaves a person unable to communicate effectively with others.

There are many causes of aphasia. Sometimes the condition can be caused by a stroke, but it can also be caused by a brain tumor, head injury, or an infection.

Dementia is another medical condition that affects cognitive abilities, including the ability to communicate.

The difference between the two is that aphasia is a symptomcommunication difficultywhereas dementia is a wider umbrella diagnosis for cognitive decline.

While dementia affects cognitionthe ability to think and acquire knowledgeaphasia in itself doesn’t do that, Katerina Hilari, professor of acquired communication disorders at City, University of London, told Newsweek.

Aphasia In Alzheimers Disease

Alzheimer’s disease can cause aphasia, which is a decline in language function due to brain disease. Alzheimer’s disease is progressive dementia that causes impaired memory, judgment, and general cognitive functioning.

Aphasia in Alzheimer’s disease often begins with word-finding problems, including difficulty choosing or recalling the right word. It can progress affect someone’s ability to express themselves, and it can involve comprehension too. Brain tumors, infections, and injuries can also cause aphasia,

This article explains some of the characteristics, symptoms, and causes of aphasia. It also describes how aphasia is diagnosed and treated.

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Clinical Characteristics Of The 2 Groups

The PPA and the AD groups respectively included 5186 and 162,005 patients. The incidence rate of PPA was 1.14 per 100,000 person-years, while the incidence rate of AD was 35.7 per 100,000 persons-years. Demographic characteristics of the two groups are presented in Table , and the results of Bayesian analysis are reported in Additional file : Table S1. Patients with PPA were significantly younger than those with AD ), and this was observed in all age groups, except for the patients aged 80 years and older for which the opposite pattern was observed. As shown in Table , the sex ratio was more balanced in the PPA than in the AD group, and the educational level was higher in the PPA than in the AD group, with a larger proportion of patients with more than 6 years of education .

Table 1 Demographic characteristics

In the AD group too, the number of patients under pharmacological treatment was significantly higher after, than before the diagnosis , and this is also true for the different psychotropic drugs and for anti-dementia treatments. After diagnosis, the treatment that was mainly added was cholinesterase inhibitors . As for the PPA group, more patients received non-pharmacological treatments after receiving an AD diagnosis compared to before the diagnosis. The delay between diagnosis and starting speech-language therapy was 9.0 months.

Whats The Difference Between Aphasia And Dementia

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Aphasia and dementia are two conditions that are caused by damage to the brain, but they are not the same. Aphasia is usually caused by damage to areas of the brain that are associated with language. The National Institutes of Health explains that the disorder diminishes the ability to express language, including speaking, reading, and writing.

Aphasia generally occurs quickly after a head injury or stroke, but in some cases, it can evolve slowly over time due to some progressive neurological conditions. Aphasia can be categorized as fluent and nonfluent, and there are several types of each. Communication is hindered in most cases, and in some instances, people may have difficulty understanding words and identifying objects.

Treatment for aphasia includes speech-language therapy, which helps patients recover the ability to communicate. The NIH notes that many communication skills can improve, depending on where the brain was injured.

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Dementia And Communication Problems

The extent of the communication problems experienced by people with dementia depends on the severity of the illness. Someone in the early stages of dementia may have milder communication problems than a person with advanced dementia.

Communication problems caused by dementia include:

  • saying a great deal but not conveying any meaning
  • difficulty concentrating on tasks or conversation topics
  • difficulty remembering old or new information
  • problems understanding words
  • problems expressing thoughts and feelings.

As dementia progresses, communication becomes less verbal. People rely on body language and tone of voice to understand what others are saying and to express their own feelings, needs and wants.

What Are The Treatments For Aphasia

Some people fully recover from aphasia without treatment. But most people should begin speech-language therapy to treat aphasia as soon as possible.

Treatment may be one-on-one with a speech therapist or in a group. Therapy using a computer may also be helpful.

The specific therapy depends on the type of language loss that a person has. It may include exercises in reading, writing, following directions, and repeating what the therapist says. Therapy may also include learning how to communicate with gestures, pictures, smartphones, or other electronic devices.

Family participation may be an important part of speech therapy. Family members can learn to help with recovery in many ways, such as:

  • Using simpler language

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What Is Primary Progressive Aphasia

In most cases, this damage is caused by a group of diseases called frontotemporal dementia. Most people who develop primary progressive aphasia will be in their 50s and 60s.

The term PPA covers three separate conditions.

  • Semantic dementia
  • Progressive non-fluent aphasia
  • Logopenic aphasia

If you would like to find out more about primary progressive aphasia including what is happening in the brain of someone with PPA you can read our blog.


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