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Problems about primary progressive aphasia - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 21-Feb-2012
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 2408 Questions
User :   My dad was diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia. It is my belief that he started to show behaviour changes about 5 or 6 years ago. Now his speech is affected. He is obsessed with my moms whereabouts, can be very nasty, the clock is another obsession. He chokes on food and now clear his throat hundreds of times a day, sounds like he is gagging. His balance is terrible, he has fallen a few times. My question I guess is pretty broad. Can you tell me about this disease and what I can expo t?
Doctor :   hello
User :   Meant what I can expect
User :   Hi
Doctor :   give me a min please
User :   Sure
Doctor :   i am going thru your query
Doctor :   its a disease process in the brain that results in degeneration of nerve cells in the parts of the brain that control our ability to use language and motor function
Doctor :   its a rare disease
Doctor :   and the exact cause it not understood
Doctor :   but there are conditions
Doctor :   which are associated with it
Doctor :   may i know your father's age please
User :   70
Doctor :   and what all medications he is on ?
User :   Metformin trazadone for sleep
Doctor :   ok
Doctor :   well at this moment there is no cure for the condition
Doctor :   Medical treatments are generally in the realm of managing behavioral symptoms such as depression, anxiety, or agitation, which may occur later in the course of the illness.
User :   I know that, but can they control or help with his tantrums, nastiness and choking? Or is it too late?
User :   What kinds of meds are available for his temper?
Doctor :   behavior therapy has shown some positive results
Doctor :   thats the only option
User :   The average person lives 7 to 10 years? Why do they die?
User :   I guess what I mean is, does the brain deteriorate so badly they die from that?
Doctor :   Primary progressive aphasia is caused by a shrinking (atrophy) of the central portion of the brain's left hemisphere
Doctor :   yes thats correct
User :   Like an alzheimer patient insists they ate when they haven't......will this sort of thing happen in dads case?
Doctor :   yes the exact course of how the mind reacts is not understood
User :   Oh and his speech most of the time is so garbled. Will he lose his ability to communicate, verbally .. Written and will he be able to understand us? Do all PPA victims always lose these sills or just some?
Doctor :   As the disease progresses, other mental skills may become impaired. If this occurs, the affected person eventually will need help with day-to-day care. And depression is common in people who have primary progressive aphasia.
Doctor :   it depends how fast the disease is progressing
User :   So I should ask the doctor to give him anti depressants.....
Doctor :   yes that will help
User :   Do they all lose verbal and understanding of speech?
Doctor :   no not all lose it
User :   How can we tell if he is....I mean he is hard to understand most times....does his anger when we say something maybe mean he doesn't really understand what were trying to say?
Doctor :   its hard to say so
Doctor :   like i said its a brain disease thats poorly understood
Doctor :   and rare
User :   My mom is so exhausted.... I just want to know if there is anything I can do, or anything else I can expect that you can tell me.
Doctor :   i have told you everything
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