Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center

Language in Primary Progressive Aphasia

Language in Primary Progressive Aphasia

Overall Status: 
Brief Description: 

The purpose of this study is to further define the neurological and linguistic deterioration in primary progressive aphasia.

Patient Qualifications: 
Min AgeMax AgeGenderHealthy Volunteers
Inclusion Criteria: 

  • Diagnosis of primary progressive aphasia
  • Right-handedness
  • English speaker
  • Visual acuity of at least 20/30 corrected
  • Adequate hearing to follow conversation

Exclusion Criteria: 

  • Left-handedness
  • Claustrophobia
  • Presence of significant medical illness that initially or in the future could interfere with continued participation in the study

Detailed Description: 

The study's main goal is to gain a better understanding of the progression and characterization of primary progressive aphasia (PPA). To do this, we look at many different aspects of the disease: neurological, defined by a clinical exam and MRI; neuropsychological, defined by a large battery of tests examining memory, attention, naming, and others; and linguistic, measured through picture, word, and sentence comprehension.

Volunteers with PPA will participate for 3 days; control volunteers will only participate for 2 days. On the first day, each participant will come to the Chicago campus of Northwestern University to complete the neuropsychological testing battery developed by the researchers involved in the study. Also, on day one, the participant will be asked to have an MRI for imaging purposes.

On days two and three (or just day two, if a control participant), the participant will perform tasks on a computer in which they will be presented with pictures on a screen and asked to respond appropriately, based on study instructions. Also, the participant will be asked to perform a task while connected to an EEG to record event-related potentials.

Fifteen PPA and 15 control participants will be recruited each year for 4 years. Those participating in years one and two will return in years three and four, respectively, to look at progression. Participants recruited in years three and four will only participate in the study once.

Map Marker CityStateZip CodeStatusPrimary Contact

Geolocation is 41.8925085, -87.6161696

Northwestern University
Benjamin Rader
Lead Sponsor: 
Northwestern University
Collaborator Sponsor: 
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Facility Investigators: 
Marsel Mesulam, MD
Principal Investigator
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Study Contact: 
Benjamin Rader
Locations ID 
NCT00537004 (follow link to view full record on in new window)
Official Title: 
Language in Primary Progressive Aphasia
Study Start Date: 
May 2007
Study End Date: 
April 2018