To diagnose primary progressive aphasia, your doctor will review your symptoms and order several tests. Because there is no specific test to diagnose primary progressive aphasia, your doctor will need to order tests to diagnose your condition and rule out other possible causes of your symptoms.
Doctors may conduct a neurological examination as well as a speech-language evaluation and a neuropsychological evaluation. Tests will be conducted to measure your speech, language comprehension and skills, recognition and naming of objects, recall, and other factors.
Doctors may order blood tests to check for infections, measure medication levels or test for other medical conditions. You may also have genetic tests to determine if you have genetic mutations associated with primary progressive aphasia or other neurological conditions.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans can help diagnose primary progressive aphasia, detect shrinking of certain areas of the brain and show which area of the brain may be affected. MRI scans can also detect strokes, tumors or other conditions that may affect brain function.
Single-photon emission computerized tomography or PET scans can show blood flow or glucose metabolism abnormalities in areas of your brain.
Jan. 16, 2013
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- Gorno-Tempini ML, et al. Classification of primary progressive aphasia and its variants. Neurology. 2011;76:1006.
- Harciarek M, et al. Primary progressive aphasias and their contribution to the contemporary knowledge about the brain-language relationship. Neuropsychology Review. 2011;21:271.
- NINDS frontotemporal dementia information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/picks/picks.htm. Accessed Oct. 12, 2012.
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- Neurological diagnostic tests and procedures. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/misc/diagnostic_tests.htm. Accessed Oct. 24, 2012.
- Aphasia. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/voice/pages/aphasia.aspx. Accessed Oct. 29, 2012.
- Communicating with people who have aphasia. The National Aphasia Association. http://www.aphasia.org/Aphasia%20Facts/communicating_with_people_who_have_aphasia.html. Accessed Oct. 29, 2012.
- Caring for a person with a frontotemporal disorder. National Institute on Aging. http://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/publication/frontotemporal-disorders-information-patients-families-and-caregivers/caring. Accessed Oct. 31, 2012.
- Treatment and management. National Institute on Aging. http://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/publication/frontotemporal-disorders-information-patients-families-and-caregivers-0. Accessed Oct. 31, 2012.
- Boeve BF (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 20, 2012.
- Duffy JR (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 26, 2012.
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