Thinking Outside the Stroke: Treating Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA) In this article, we explore the symptoms, cause, treatment potential, and supportive services for individuals diagnosed with Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA). Although it is possible to regain certain cognitive abilities with stroke or brain injury, in PPA, language abilities worsen and other symptoms emerge with time, shortening the lifespan. The ... Article
Article  |   May 01, 2012
Thinking Outside the Stroke: Treating Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA)
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Becky Khayum
    Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL
  • Christina Wieneke
    Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL
  • Emily Rogalski
    Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL
  • Jaimie Robinson
    Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL
  • Mary O’Hara
    Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL
  • Becky Khayum is a speech-language pathologist who specializes in the treatment of cognitive-communication disorders. She is the co-founder and president of MemoryCare Corporation, a company dedicated to providing individualized therapy services to those suffering from Alzheimer's disease and other memory disorders. She also specializes in the evaluation and treatment of Primary Progressive Aphasia. Prior to her work with MemoryCare, Becky provided services in assisted living communities and skilled nursing facilities around the Chicago region. Becky has developed a passion for educating professionals and caregivers on strategies that facilitate communication and memory for individuals with various forms of dementia. Becky completed her graduate studies at the University of Arizona and undergrad at Purdue University.
    Becky Khayum is a speech-language pathologist who specializes in the treatment of cognitive-communication disorders. She is the co-founder and president of MemoryCare Corporation, a company dedicated to providing individualized therapy services to those suffering from Alzheimer's disease and other memory disorders. She also specializes in the evaluation and treatment of Primary Progressive Aphasia. Prior to her work with MemoryCare, Becky provided services in assisted living communities and skilled nursing facilities around the Chicago region. Becky has developed a passion for educating professionals and caregivers on strategies that facilitate communication and memory for individuals with various forms of dementia. Becky completed her graduate studies at the University of Arizona and undergrad at Purdue University.×
  • Christina Wieneke, BA, is a research project manager at the Northwestern University Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center (CNADC). At the CNADC, she manages all components of the longitudinal, NIH-funded Language in Primary Progressive Aphasia research program, including subject recruitment, neuropsychological evaluation, and disease education. She received a BA from Purdue University in behavioral neuroscience.
    Christina Wieneke, BA, is a research project manager at the Northwestern University Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center (CNADC). At the CNADC, she manages all components of the longitudinal, NIH-funded Language in Primary Progressive Aphasia research program, including subject recruitment, neuropsychological evaluation, and disease education. She received a BA from Purdue University in behavioral neuroscience.×
  • Emily J. Rogalski, PhD, is currently the Assistant Research Professor at Northwestern University's Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center. She has more than 10 years of experience in the field of aging and dementia, specializing in primary progressive aphasia (PPA) research. Dr. Rogalski has assisted in developing educational programs and support groups for caregivers, family members, and individuals with PPA. She is an author of several articles that provide insight into brain-behavior relationships, risk factors, and perspective about the clinico-anatomical progression over time in PPA. The outcomes of her work have translational value in providing recommendations for patient care.
    Emily J. Rogalski, PhD, is currently the Assistant Research Professor at Northwestern University's Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center. She has more than 10 years of experience in the field of aging and dementia, specializing in primary progressive aphasia (PPA) research. Dr. Rogalski has assisted in developing educational programs and support groups for caregivers, family members, and individuals with PPA. She is an author of several articles that provide insight into brain-behavior relationships, risk factors, and perspective about the clinico-anatomical progression over time in PPA. The outcomes of her work have translational value in providing recommendations for patient care.×
  • Jaimie Robinson, MSW, LCSW, is currently the Resource Navigator at the Neurobehavior and Memory Clinic at Northwestern University's Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center, where she guides the person diagnosed with a form of dementia and their family to cope with the cognitive symptoms. Jaimie received her Master's in Social Work from Loyola University Chicago, after which she worked at the Alzheimer's Association National Office in Family Programs. Jaimie has a special interest in the needs of persons who are aging, particularly those who are living with cognitive changes. Jaimie is a featured writer and manager of a professional blog called the Chicago Bridge and is a member of the board of directors for Chicago's Society of Social Worker Leadership in Health Care.
    Jaimie Robinson, MSW, LCSW, is currently the Resource Navigator at the Neurobehavior and Memory Clinic at Northwestern University's Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center, where she guides the person diagnosed with a form of dementia and their family to cope with the cognitive symptoms. Jaimie received her Master's in Social Work from Loyola University Chicago, after which she worked at the Alzheimer's Association National Office in Family Programs. Jaimie has a special interest in the needs of persons who are aging, particularly those who are living with cognitive changes. Jaimie is a featured writer and manager of a professional blog called the Chicago Bridge and is a member of the board of directors for Chicago's Society of Social Worker Leadership in Health Care.×
  • Mary O’Hara, AM, LCSW, is a social worker and the Assistant Director of Education at Northwestern's Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center (CNADC). In addition to providing education and outreach to the community and facilitating the CNADC's various Quality of Life Enrichment Programs, Mary also facilitates family caregiver and diagnosed individual support groups. In the Neurobehavior and Memory Clinic, Mary provides education and support to diagnosed persons and their families. Mary received her master's degree from The University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration, where she focused on working with older adults.
    Mary O’Hara, AM, LCSW, is a social worker and the Assistant Director of Education at Northwestern's Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center (CNADC). In addition to providing education and outreach to the community and facilitating the CNADC's various Quality of Life Enrichment Programs, Mary also facilitates family caregiver and diagnosed individual support groups. In the Neurobehavior and Memory Clinic, Mary provides education and support to diagnosed persons and their families. Mary received her master's degree from The University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration, where she focused on working with older adults.×
Article Information
Augmentative & Alternative Communication / Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Normal Language Processing / Language Disorders / Aphasia / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Articles
Article   |   May 01, 2012
Thinking Outside the Stroke: Treating Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA)
SIG 15 Perspectives on Gerontology, May 2012, Vol. 17, 37-49. doi:10.1044/gero17.2.37
SIG 15 Perspectives on Gerontology, May 2012, Vol. 17, 37-49. doi:10.1044/gero17.2.37

In this article, we explore the symptoms, cause, treatment potential, and supportive services for individuals diagnosed with Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA). Although it is possible to regain certain cognitive abilities with stroke or brain injury, in PPA, language abilities worsen and other symptoms emerge with time, shortening the lifespan. The goal of speech therapy for PPA is not to regain lost language, but rather to maximize communication for as long as possible. In this article, we offer information and tools for speech-language pathologists to help people living with PPA achieve these goals and improve overall quality of life.

Thank you to Darby Morhardt, LCSW, and Sandy Weintraub, PhD for their contributions to this article.
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