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Primary Progressive Aphasia
Posted by: Denise
Date: January 6, 2000 1:39 AM

My Mom was recently diagnosed with Primary Progressive Aphasia. We have noticed difficulty in her speech and recently her memory is starting to slip. Can this lead to Alzheimers?

Primary Progressive Aphasia
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, MD
Date: January 7, 2000 1:26 PM

Here is the translation of that diagnosis: Primary = "We don't know the cause or what to do, but we think it is coming from the source, the brain in this case," Progressive = "and it's getting worse," Aphasia = "this inability to use or comprehends words." To give a diagnosis like this should launch a search for the cause. Unfortunately doctors are lulled into the experience they have something when they have esoteric words to describe it and do not launch that search. Of course, what you are interested in are treatable causes. I would want to know what has been explored as possible causes. Is a toxic condition ruled out? Have the proper heavy metal screens been done? Has the vascular system been looked at with a Doppler study? (Suggest your read the article on Chelation Therapy here) Has there been a CAT scan or MRI to look for brain tumor? Have vitamin deficiencies been ruled out? I am not suggesting this is a complete list. The point is, there should be a complete evaluation for possible causes, especially treatable causes. Standardized medical practice is often not up to the task of finding causes which can be found by the latest techniques. In fact, many docs are not even clear on how to test for, as an example, mercury levels (a plain blood level tells you nothing). So, finding the right doctor is everything in a difficult to diagnose case. See the yellow tab in the upper left? Click on that and follow it.

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