June 27, 2017 – PPA


Anchor lead: People who have trouble communicating may have a condition called primary progressive aphasia, or PPA, and there is a therapy that may help, Elizabeth Tracey reports

When someone has trouble talking, it may have a number of causes, one of which is called primary progressive aphasia, or PPA. Kyrana Tsapkini, an PPA researcher at Johns Hopkins, says brain scans show specific findings.

Kyrana Tsapkini: The areas of brain atrophy go together with the manifestation of it, and the deficit they have. For example, those who have more posterior atrophy, parietal lobe, they cannot put the syllables together.  :15

Tsapkini is using an approach combining electrical stimulation and training to see if such an intervention can help.

Tsapkini: There are two things you are looking at in rehab programs. One is how long results are sustained, so we start with before after, then two weeks, then at two months. And the second is how much do they generalize?   :13

Tsapkini says the electrical stimulation, known as transcranial direct current stimulation, has been is use for decades in an attempt to improve things like memory, so she is optimistic about using it in people with primary progressive aphasia. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.