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Rehabilitation and Prevention of Word-Finding Problems in Primary Progressive Aphasia


This study is designed to remediate word-finding problems in people with primary progressive aphasia (PPA) and to delay further progression of word-finding impairment.

Minimum Age Maximum Age Gender Healthy Volunteers
40 Years N/A Both No
August 2011
June 2022

  • Diagnosis of PPA, including frontotemporal dementia, semantic dementia, or a similar condition
  • At least 10 years of education
  • Ability to follow spoken instructions
  • Medically stable
  • First language is English, or fluent in English since childhood
  • Willing to participate for 2 years

  • History of additional neurological problems
  • History of substance abuse or psychiatric problems

People with PPA whose ability to name pictures has just begun to decline will receive practice in two conditions: viewing the picture and repeating the name, and viewing the picture with its written name plus reading and writing the name. Naming of pictures in each of these conditions will be compared after training with naming of pictures before the study.

Researchers predict that pairing the picture with its written name, combined with the motor task of writing the name, will result in a greater ability to name the picture at a later date than simply viewing the picture and repeating the name.

Investigators will attempt to strengthen neural connections that remain functional, making them more resistant to degradation as the disease progresses. While the study is specific to word-finding problems, a successful outcome would bode well for other studies aimed at prevention or reversal of declining cognitive functions in people with dementia.

Name City State Zip Status Primary Contact
Georgetown University Medical Center
Washington District of Columbia 20057 Recruiting Sarah Snider, MA
Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore Maryland 21287 Recruiting Donna Tippett, MA

Georgetown University

  • National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
  • Johns Hopkins University

Name Role Affiliation
Rhonda Friedman, PhD Principal Investigator Georgetown University

Name Phone Email
Aaron Meyer, PhD 202-687-4196
Sarah Snider 202-687-7109