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Title: Non-verbal episodic memory deficits in primary progressive aphasias are highly predictive of underlying amyloid pathology
Austin Authors: Ramanan, Siddharth;Flanagan, Emma;Leyton, Cristian E;Villemagne, Victor L ;Rowe, Christopher C ;Hodges, John R;Hornberger, Michael
Affiliation: Austin Health, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia
Department of Neurology, Manipal Hospitals, Bangalore, India
Neuroscience Research Australia, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia
The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Department of Nuclear Medicine and Centre for PET, Austin Health, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia
Department of Medicine, Austin Health, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia
School of Medical Sciences, University of New South Wales, NSW, Australia
Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK
Issue Date: 15-Mar-2016
Publication information: Journal of Alzheimer's Disease 2016; 51(2): 367-376
Abstract: Diagnostic distinction of primary progressive aphasias (PPA) remains challenging, in particular for the logopenic (lvPPA) and nonfluent/agrammatic (naPPA) variants. Recent findings highlight that episodic memory deficits appear to discriminate these PPA variants from each other, as only lvPPA perform poorly on these tasks while having underlying amyloid pathology similar to that seen in amnestic dementias like Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Most memory tests are, however, language based and thus potentially confounded by the prevalent language deficits in PPA. The current study investigated this issue across PPA variants by contrasting verbal and non-verbal episodic memory measures while controlling for their performance on a language subtest of a general cognitive screen. A total of 203 participants were included (25 lvPPA; 29 naPPA; 59 AD; 90 controls) and underwent extensive verbal and non-verbal episodic memory testing, with a subset of patients (n = 45) with confirmed amyloid profiles as assessed by Pittsburgh Compound B and PET. The most powerful discriminator between naPPA and lvPPA patients was a non-verbal recall measure (Rey Complex Figure delayed recall), with 81% of PPA patients classified correctly at presentation. Importantly, AD and lvPPA patients performed comparably on this measure, further highlighting the importance of underlying amyloid pathology in episodic memory profiles. The findings demonstrate that non-verbal recall emerges as the best discriminator of lvPPA and naPPA when controlling for language deficits in high load amyloid PPA cases.
DOI: 10.3233/JAD-150752
ORCID: 0000-0003-3910-2453
PubMed URL:
Type: Journal Article
Subjects: Logopenic progressive aphasia
Pittsburgh Compound B
Primary progressive aphasia
Progressive nonfluent aphasia
Appears in Collections:Journal articles

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