Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA)

I was beginning to realise at this stage that something had to be done to get help for both of our sakes. It wasn’t until July 2011 that I persuaded my wife to agree to having an assessment done. This was done by a geriatrician asking questions according to the Mini Mental State Examination. My wife’s score was 8 out of a maximum of 30. Any score lower that 14 means there is no medication available to help with the symptoms.

As mentioned earlier the diagnosis was Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA) which is a type of dementia. PPA begins very gradually and initially is experienced as difficulty thinking of common words while speaking or writing. PPA progressively worsens to the point where verbal communication by any means is very difficult. The ability to understand what others are saying or what is being read also declines. In the early stages, memory, reasoning and visual perception are not affected by the disease and so individuals with PPA are able to function normally in many routine daily living activities despite the aphasia. However, as the illness progresses, other mental abilities also decline. At present, there is no cure for the degenerative diseases that cause PPA. 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

Since last October I have had to take over more and more of the household chores.

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