Diagnosis and classification of primary progressive aphasia (PPA) requires confirmation of specific speech and language symptoms, highlighting the important role of speech-language pathologists (SLPs) in the evaluation process. The purpose of this case report is to inform SLPs regarding current practices for diagnostic assessment in PPA, describing standard approaches as well as complementary, state-of-the-art procedures that may improve diagnostic precision.
We describe the diagnostic evaluation of a 49-year old female with complaints of progressive word-finding difficulty. She completed standard neurological, neuropsychological, and speech-language evaluations, as well as magnetic resonance and positron emission tomography imaging of her brain. In addition, a history of developmental speech, language, and learning abilities was obtained, as well as genetic testing, and assessment of cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers. We discuss the evaluation results in the context of the most current research related to PPA diagnosis.
Detailed behavioral assessment, thorough intake of symptom history and neurodevelopmental differences, multimodal neuroimaging, and comprehensive examination of genes and biomarkers are of paramount importance for detecting and characterizing PPA, with ramifications for early behavioral and/or pharmacological intervention.