Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Case report
Challenges in diagnosis of primary progressive aphasia
  1. Ellen C Clarke and
  2. Borna Bonakdarpour
  1. Neurology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, USA
  1. Correspondence to Ellen C Clarke; ellenclarke1820{at}


Two 68-year-old men presented to the behavioral neurology clinic with memory complaints. The clinical picture was complicated by bilingualism and psychiatric comorbidities. Based on a combination of cognitive and language testing, 5-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET), and/or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain, both cases were initially diagnosed as having mild cognitive impairment (MCI). At follow-up, however, both cases’ language profiles and neuroimaging had evolved to clearly indicate primary progressive aphasia (PPA) as the underlying condition rather than MCI. These cases underscore the importance of careful observation of clinical and neuroimaging data over time to reach an accurate diagnosis.

  • neurology
  • neuroimaging
  • memory disorders
  • radiology
  • dementia, Alzheimer's type
View Full Text

Statistics from


  • Twitter @bbonakda

  • Contributors BB saw the patients in the Neurobehavior and Memory Clinic at Northwestern. EC and BB both reviewed the patients’ charts and relevant literature. EC prepared the initial manuscript and contributed to the discussion. Both parties edited the final manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.