Progressive Aphasia: Patterns of Language Behavior and Regional Cortical Atrophy
AdvisorBeeson, Pelagie M.
Committee ChairBeeson, Pelagie M.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractPrimary Progressive aphasia (PPA) is a disorder characterized by gradual decline in language functions, with relative sparing of other cognitive abilities. This behavioral profile results from neurodegenerative disease that preferentially affects language cortex. As is the case in aphasia resulting from stroke, any of several critical language processing domains may be affected in PPA, including syntax, semantics, phonology, and orthography. In stroke-induced aphasia, traditional lesion mapping approaches have provided important insight into the localization of cortical regions supporting these domains. Specifically, left perisylvian cortex has been implicated in syntactic and phonological aspects of language, whereas left extrasylvian cortical regions are associated with lexical-semantic and orthographic functions. The goal of the present study was to seek converging evidence for the role of left hemisphere cortical regions in language using a voxel-based imaging technique in individuals with PPA. Fifteen individuals with progressive aphasia and fifteen normal controls were given a comprehensive language battery comprising tasks in the domains of syntax, semantics, phonology, and orthography. A subset of patients and all normal controls underwent high-resolution structural MRI scanning. Voxel-based morphometry (VBM) was used to characterize patterns of regional cortical atrophy in the patients relative to controls and to correlate language tasks with gray matter volumes. Results confirm a key role for left perisylvian cortex in phonological and syntactic processes, and indicate that left temporal regions are critically involved in semantic processes. Findings shed light on the veracity of the "primary systems" hypothesis of written language, which posits that written language impairments arise from core cognitive deficits affecting semantic and phonological systems.
Degree ProgramSpeech, Language, & Hearing Sciences