Depression in primary progressive aphasia

Jennifer Medina*, Sandra Weintraub

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA) is a clinical dementia syndrome in which language functions decline over time while other cognitive domains remain relatively preserved for at least 2 years. Because PPA patients suffer progressive interference with communication despite relatively preserved memory, reasoning, and insight, there is reason to believe they may experience depression. Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) scores from PPA patients and normal controls were compared, the relationship between GDS and neuropsychological test scores was examined, and responses to items on the GDS were explored and grouped by the GDS factor structure. A significant proportion of PPA patients scored in the clinically depressed range. Although PPA patients as a group were not clinically depressed, they reported more symptoms of depression than controls, and the number of symptoms correlated with severity of naming impairment in depressed PPA patients. Symptoms of social withdrawal and lack of mental and physical energy were most common, suggesting that patients with PPA should be evaluated for depression so that they may be appropriately treated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-160
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2007


  • Emotional distress
  • Frontotemporal dementia
  • Geriatric Depression Scale
  • Neuropsychiatric symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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