Other Areas of the Brain Used to Compensate for Lost Language Functioning in Rare Dementia

Monday, April 23, 2018

A rare form of dementia, primary progressive aphasia (PPA), was the focus of a study identifying active brain regions. This dementia is unusual in that language comprehension is affected rather than memory. People who have PPA in early stages tend to have no difficulty with working memory and can drive and complete tasks easily. However, their language processing has been affected which makes reading, writing, and speaking more difficult. Using magnetoencephalography (MEG) the researchers were able to track which section of the brain responded to language tasks and how fast they responded. Language is usually a left brain process, although, with some people who had PPA, the MEG showed a larger reliance on the right side of the brain for the language tasks.

These individuals tended to perform better than those who showed less right brain activity. According to the senior author, Jed Meltzer of the Rotman Research Institute  at Baycrest Health Sciences, these findings bring hope because knowing that the brain compensates offers opportunities to intervene and create treatments.

Source: Futurity Health and Medicine; April 12, 2018; https://www.futurity.org/brain-dementia-language-center-1729472/

Author: Mari Jensen-Arizona

Date Retrieved: April 20, 2018

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