“Clinical dimensions along the nonfluent variant primary progressive aphasia spectrum”
Dr. Ignacio Illán Gala is a Neurologist at the memory unit of the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau. He currently leads the research group focused on the “Natural history, diagnosis and treatment of Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration”.
Other clinical researchers from our center have participated in this work, such as Dr. Sara Rubio and Doctor Miguel Santos, both from the memory unit. Authors from the University of California San Francisco also participate, including Dr. Maria Luisa Gorno-Tempini, who is one of the most influential clinical researchers in the field of neurodegenerative diseases.
The scientific article has been published in the prestigious journal Brain and studies different neurodegenerative syndromes that are characterized by a slow and progressive alteration of speech and language: primary progressive apraxia of speech, the non-fluent variant of primary progressive aphasia and progressive agrammatical aphasia. Patients with these clinical syndromes have problems articulating correctly, have blocks or distortions, and sometimes make grammatical errors when speaking or writing. At the time of diagnosis, symptoms are usually mild and often go unnoticed or are confused with psychiatric illnesses.
Nearly 100 patients recruited at the University of California San Francisco were included in this study, many of them with a diagnosis confirmed by autopsy. This work is relevant because it demonstrates for the first time that these syndromes, which until now were considered different entities, are part of the same spectrum of clinical presentations of Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration, which is a group of neurodegenerative diseases different from the disease of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. This study also identifies factors that are associated with faster progression, which will allow clinical trials to be designed in the coming years.
Below is an image generated by the DALL-E artificial intelligence software. This piece is a visual metaphor for the findings of our study, reflecting the diverse clinical continuum within the spectrum of non-fluent variant primary progressive aphasia. The choice of a light spectrum to represent the spectrum of the clinical presentations that we analyze using machine learning methods.