Apraxia May Progress to Neurodegenerative Disease Symptoms of apraxia of speech can be some of the first signs of degenerative neurologic disease, says a Mayo Clinic scientist who recently presented his findings from more than a decade of research on the disorder. As part of a strategic initiative to raise awareness about communication sciences and disorders ... Research in Brief
Free
Research in Brief  |   May 01, 2016
Apraxia May Progress to Neurodegenerative Disease
Author Notes
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Apraxia of Speech & Childhood Apraxia of Speech / Balance & Balance Disorders / Special Populations / ASHA News & Member Stories / Research in Brief
Research in Brief   |   May 01, 2016
Apraxia May Progress to Neurodegenerative Disease
The ASHA Leader, May 2016, Vol. 21, 14. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB4.21052016.14
The ASHA Leader, May 2016, Vol. 21, 14. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB4.21052016.14
Symptoms of apraxia of speech can be some of the first signs of degenerative neurologic disease, says a Mayo Clinic scientist who recently presented his findings from more than a decade of research on the disorder.
As part of a strategic initiative to raise awareness about communication sciences and disorders (CSD) among scientists from other disciplines, ASHA sponsored speech-language pathologist Joseph R. Duffy to share his research at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C., in February. His presentation, “My Words Come Out Wrong: When Thought and Language Are Disconnected From Speech,” focused on a specific form of apraxia known as primary progressive apraxia of speech (PPAOS).
“Although speech difficulty is well-recognized as a sign of stroke, it is often ignored as a sign of neurodegenerative disease,” Duffy says. “Nonetheless, we know that aphasia can be the only sign of neurodegenerative disease, in which case it is called ‘primary progressive aphasia’ (PPA). Several subtypes of PPA have been described and their reliable identification has implications for localizing the disease in the brain, identifying the underlying pathology and, most important, patient care.”
Duffy warns that PPAOS and apraxia in general can often be misdiagnosed as Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or even mental illness. And although apraxia of speech caused by a stroke may get better over time, PPAOS is a progressive neurological condition that eventually affects more than speech production and can cause difficulty with movement of the limbs and eyes, balance problems, and widespread cognitive decline.
If the disease is diagnosed early and correctly, patients can benefit from appropriate treatment, says Duffy, who also presented on PPAOS during the Research Symposium at the 2015 ASHA Convention.
An article in The Atlantic that is raising visibility of the disorder and CSD was prompted by the presentation, which also included Argye Hillis and Frank Lin of Johns Hopkins University.
0 Comments
Submit a Comment
Submit A Comment
Name
Comment Title
Comment


This feature is available to Subscribers Only
Sign In or Create an Account ×
FROM THIS ISSUE
May 2016
Volume 21, Issue 5