Distinguishing subtypes in primary progressive aphasia: application of the Sydney language battery

Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2013;35(3-4):208-18. doi: 10.1159/000346389. Epub 2013 Feb 28.


Background/aims: Primary progressive aphasia (PPA) comprises three main subtypes, varying in clinical features, patterns of brain atrophy, and underlying pathology. Differentiation of these variants is important for treatment and planning; however, simple, effective cognitive tests to aid diagnosis are lacking. This study introduces a new language battery - the SYDBAT (Sydney Language Battery) - to assist clinicians.

Methods: Fifty-seven PPA patients and 54 age- and education-matched healthy controls were compared on naming, repetition, word comprehension, and semantic association subtests.

Results: Significant group differences were found for all tasks, reflecting different language profiles for each group. Using discriminative function analysis, 80% of PPA cases were correctly classified from three SYDBAT scores, from which a simple diagnostic algorithm was defined.

Conclusion: The SYDBAT is a fast and simple tool which provides a valuable adjunct to clinicians diagnosing PPA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Aphasia, Primary Progressive / classification
  • Aphasia, Primary Progressive / diagnosis*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Language*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests*
  • Reproducibility of Results