Primary progressive aphasia: linguistic patterns and clinical variants

Maria Caterina Silveri, Nicoletta Ciccarelli, Cesare Colosimo, Anna Clelia Brita, Erika Improta, Paola Rossi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated whether primary progressive aphasias (PPA) reflect non-random degradation of linguistic dimensions that might be supported by different neural subsystems and to what extent this degradation contributes to the emergence of clinical entities: semantic (S), logopenic (L) and nonfluent (NF) aphasia; apraxia of speech was also considered if associated with language disorders (AOS/aph). Forty-two aphasic patients are reported. Two main definable patterns of linguistic deficits tended to emerge that corresponded with identifiable patterns of brain atrophy, and probably diseases: the S variant, which principally expresses the impact of a "deep" cognitive (semantic) disorder on language, and AOS/aph in which "peripheral" executive components play a significant role. By contrast, NF aphasia emerged as a heterogeneous variant due to disorganization of various dimensions within the linguistic domain, that assumes different patterns depending on the differential distribution of atrophy in the perisylvian regions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-65
Number of pages9
JournalBrain and Language
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Agrammatism
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Apraxia of speech
  • Corticobasal degeneration
  • Phonological deficit
  • Primary progressive aphasia
  • Semantic deficit
  • Semantic dementia


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