Clinical assessment of progressive aphasia

Lyndsey Nickels, Cathleen Taylor, Karen Croot

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    There is an increasing awareness that language impairments can be the most prominent initial symptom of people with a number of neurodegenerative disorders. Consequently, speech pathologists are increasingly required to apply their skills to the communication needs of this group. While the literature addressing the nature and treatment of the language impairments of individuals with progressive aphasia is growing, little guidance is available regarding assessment. In this paper we review the assessment requirements of this population, arguing that assessment needs to a) identify the current status of the person’s language impairment and the impact it has on their communication activities, participation, and quality of life, to enable goal-planning for treatment, and b) establish the nature, extent, and rate of change in language skills over time. We argue that, while many factors influencing choice of assessment are similar to those for people with non-progressive aphasia, important factors that are particular to people with progressive aphasia need to be considered.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)73-78
    Number of pages6
    JournalACQuiring knowledge in speech, language and hearing
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


    • assessment
    • primary progressive aphasia
    • progressive aphasia
    • progressive language impairment
    • semantic dementia


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