Primary Progressive Aphasia Remains Little-Known Form of Dementia

The onset of medical conditions that affect brain function like dementia or Alzheimer’s often act as triggers for local residents and their families to visit a New York elder law attorney. As most are aware, these illnesses affect millions of individuals across the country. The brain conditions result in memory-loss, reduction in learning ability, and reasoning problems. Obviously these illnesses pose a serious threat to an individual’s ability to properly manage their affairs, and caregivers are often required to help with day-to-day activities.

While conditions like dementia are rarely found in anyone less than 65 years of age, there are a few lesser known illnesses that affect brain function and occur in younger individuals. Last month the New York Times profiled one of those forms of dementia, known as primary progressive aphasia (P.P.A.). The syndrome often strikes those in their 50s. Its rarity and the age at which it occurs often cause doctors to misdiagnose the condition as depression, anxiety, or even a stroke.

Unlike Alzheimer’s or dementia, P.P.A. does not initially affect memory but instead affects an individual’s communication abilities. An expert on the disease explains how P.P.A. damages the part of the brain that is used in word-finding, object naming, syntax, spelling, and word comprehension.

The wife of one 55-year old sufferer from P.P.A. explains her husband’s impairments, noting that “he can no longer punch in the numbers to operate the garage door or the microwave or the remote for the TV. He might open the car window, then not know how to close it.”

While communication impairment is the primary problem caused by P.P.A., eventually patients suffer other deficits, like memory-loss, various cognitive abnormalities, and even motor problems. It is for those reasons that the article concluded by recommending that those who may be suffering from P.P.A. visit an elder law attorney to ensure that their family’s financial affairs are in order.

For local residents showing early signs of illnesses like dementia, Alzheimer’s, P.P.A., or other cognitive diseases, a visit to a New York elder law firm can go a long way in relieving the uncertainty that comes with these situations. No one will ever be able to completely control what their own future will hold. Yet everyone has the power to ensure that proper planning is done to protect their loved ones in all contingencies.

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