Speech-Language Pathology (SLP)
Rangos School of Health Sciences
Sarah E. Wallace
Mikael D.Z. Kimelman
Caterina F. Staltari
Primary progressive aphasia (PPA) is a neurodegenerative condition characterized by language and cognitive decline. Word retrieval deficits are the most common PPA symptom, and contribute to impaired verbal expression. Intense semantic interventions show promise for improving word retrieval in people with PPA. Additionally, people with PPA may learn to use alternative communication modalities when they are unable to retrieve a word. However, executive function impairments can cause people to struggle to switch among modalities to repair communication breakdowns. This study examined the effects of a combined semantic feature analysis and multimodal communication program (SFA+MCP) on word retrieval accuracy and switching among modalities in a person with PPA. Changes in word retrieval accuracy and switching were minimal. However, the listeners' identification of the participant's communication attempts was more accurate following treatment, suggesting increased overall communicative effectiveness. These results have implications for the design of future PPA intervention studies.
Rebstock, A. (2014). Effects of Semantic Feature Analysis+Multimodal Communication Program for Word Retrieval and Switching Behavior in Primary Progressive Aphasia (Master's thesis, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/1089