Longitudinal Changes in Semantic Concreteness in Semantic Variant Primary Progressive Aphasia (svPPA).
eNeuro. 2018 Nov-Dec;5(6):
Authors: Cousins KAQ, Ash S, Olm CA, Grossman M
Abstract This study examines longitudinal changes in the concreteness of nouns produced by human patients with semantic variant primary progressive aphasia (svPPA). Cross-sectional studies show that patients with svPPA demonstrate severe loss of concrete noun knowledge linked to atrophy of the left ventral temporal lobe. It is unknown how disease spread and duration affect the magnitude of the concreteness impairment in svPPA. We evaluate longitudinal spoken production of concrete nouns in svPPA, and relate this to changes in longitudinal MRI measures of gray matter (GM). Noun concreteness in svPPA is compared to that of behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) patients, who typically demonstrate highly concrete speech. We elicited naturalistic speech samples at two time points (time 1 and time 2) in patients with svPPA (n = 11) and bvFTD (n = 15) through descriptions of the Cookie Theft picture and evaluated each spoken noun for concreteness. Compared to bvFTD patients whose noun production remained highly concrete throughout the testing period, mixed-effects models revealed that noun concreteness significantly decreased as disease progressed in svPPA. We also measured longitudinal changes to GM in a subset of svPPA patients (n = 7), who showed significant decline in the left and right temporal and frontal regions. Regression analyses revealed that longitudinal GM atrophy in the right fusiform and parahippocampal gyri and the left superior temporal gyrus was related to decreasing noun concreteness. These results suggest that progressive atrophy of the ventral temporal lobe in svPPA contributes to declining concrete noun production over time.
PMID: 30783611 [PubMed - in process]