Mystery brain disorder robs patients of their words

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amanda NC
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Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 7:41 am

Mystery brain disorder robs patients of their words

Postby amanda NC » Mon Feb 15, 2016 9:53 am

Mystery brain disorder robs patients of their words

WASHINGTON (AP) — A mysterious brain disorder can be confused with early Alzheimer's disease although it isn't robbing patients of their memories but of the words to talk about them.

It's called primary progressive aphasia, and researchers said Sunday they're finding better ways to diagnose the little-known syndrome. That will help people whose thoughts are lucid but who are verbally locked in to get the right kind of care.

"I'm using a speech device to talk to you," Robert Voogt of Virginia Beach, Virginia, said by playing a recording from a phone-sized assistive device at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. "I have trouble speaking, but I can understand you."

Even many doctors know little about this rare kind of aphasia, abbreviated PPA, but raising awareness is key to improve care — and because a new study is underway to try to slow the disease by electrically stimulating the affected brain region.

More at link....

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/4adb0ef26d7d415284b290a405873ea0/mystery-brain-disorder-robs-patients-their-words


But here's an especially interesting comment--sounds like many of our kids...

"Sunday, Voogt patiently answered Hillis' questions by typing into a device called the MiniTalk, or calling up verbal phrases he'd pre-programmed into it. Asked to say "dog," Voogt forced out only a garble. But asked what cowboys ride, he typed horses and the device "said" the word.

His form of PPA also impacts grammar so that he has difficulty forming full sentences, Hillis said. Asked to write that's "it's a cold day in Washington," Voogt typed a minute or two and the device's recorder emitted "cold Washington D.C."
Amanda, mom of 3

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