People with semantic variant primary progressive aphasia (svPPA) present with a characteristic progressive breakdown of semantic knowledge. There are currently no pharmacological interventions to cure or slow svPPA, but promising behavioural approaches are increasingly reported. This article offers an overview of the last two decades of research into interventions to support language in people with svPPA including recommendations for clinical practice and future research based on the best available evidence. We offer a lay summary in English, Spanish and French for education and dissemination purposes. This paper discusses the implications of right-versus left-predominant atrophy in svPPA, which naming therapies offer the best outcomes and how to capitalise on preserved long-term memory systems. Current knowledge regarding the maintenance and generalisation of language therapy gains is described in detail along with the development of compensatory approaches and educational and support group programmes. It is concluded that there is evidence to support an integrative framework of treatment and care as best practice for svPPA. Such an approach should combine rehabilitation interventions addressing the language impairment, compensatory approaches to support activities of daily living and provision of education and support within the context of dementia.
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- semantic dementia
- semantic variant primary progressive aphasia
- word finding
- frontotemporal dementia
- language therapy
- behavioural therapy