Phonological processing in primary progressive aphasia

Henry, Maya L and Beeson, Pelagie M and Z Rapcsak, Steven and Babiak, Miranda and Gorno-Tempini, Maria Luisa (2013) Phonological processing in primary progressive aphasia. [Clinical Aphasiology Paper]

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Primary progressive aphasia (PPA) is a debilitating condition wherein speech and language deteriorate as a result of neurodegenerative disease. Three variants of PPA are now recognized, each of which shows a unique constellation of speech-language deficits and pattern of underlying atrophy in the brain (Gorno-Tempini et al., 2011). The variants include a nonfluent/agrammatic type (nfvPPA), characterized by syntactic and motor speech deficits and fronto-insular atrophy in the left hemisphere. The semantic variant (svPPA) shows degradation of semantic knowledge in the context of anterior and inferior temporal lobe atrophy (left hemisphere greater than right). Finally, the more recently characterized logopenic variant (lvPPA) shows impairments in naming and repetition that are thought to be phonological in nature. This variant, associated with atrophy of temporoparietal regions in the left hemisphere, has also been referred to as the “phonological” variant of PPA due to observed deficits on tasks that require phonological storage (i.e., the “phonological loop”) and to the presence of phonological paraphasias in connected speech (Gorno-Tempini et al., 2008). Impaired phonological processing has been considered a unique feature of the logopenic variant of PPA, however, phonological skills have not been thoroughly characterized across the three variants. Recent models of the functional neuroanatomy of language propose two pathways by which speech is processed in the brain (Hickok & Poeppel, 2007). A dorsal pathway involving temporoparietal and posterior frontal structures is thought to be involved in mapping phonological representations onto articulatory representations. A ventral pathway located in the middle and inferior temporal lobes is considered crucial for mapping phonological representations onto lexical-semantic representations. Both the dorsal and ventral streams emanate from a common cortical region in posterior, superior temporal cortex/sulcus that appears critical to the mental representation of phonology. We investigated phonological processing in PPA, with the goal of identifying whether patterns of performance in the different variants support this functional-anatomical framework. Based on our knowledge of the locus of anatomical damage in the subtypes of PPA, we hypothesized that patients with damage to dorsal route structures (nonfluent and logopenic variants) would show greater impairment on phonological processing tasks, whereas patients with damage to ventral route structures (semantic variant) would show relative preservation of phonological abilities.

Item Type: Clinical Aphasiology Paper
Depositing User: OSCP Staff 1
Date Deposited: 29 Aug 2013
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2016 15:13
Conference: Clinical Aphasiology Conference > Clinical Aphasiology Conference (2013 : 43rd : Tucson, AZ : May 28-June 2, 2013)

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