Primary Progressive Aphasia in the Network of French Alzheimer Plan Memory Centers

J Alzheimers Dis. 2016 Oct 18;54(4):1459-1471. doi: 10.3233/JAD-160536.


Background: Few demographical data about primary progressive aphasia (PPA) are available, and most knowledge regarding PPA is based on tertiary centers' results.

Objective: Our aims were to describe demographical characteristics of the PPA population in a large sample of PPA patients from the network of French Alzheimer plan memory centers (Sample 1), and to describe the stratification of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers in two different samples of PPA patients (Samples 2 and 3).

Methods: All registered PPA patients in the French Alzheimer's disease (AD) databank (Sample 1: n = 2,035) and a subsample (Sample 2: n = 65) derived from a multicentric prospective cohort with CSF biomarker analysis were analyzed. A multicentric retrospective cohort from language expert tertiary centers (Sample 3: n = 97) with CSF biomarker analysis was added. Sample 3 was added to replicate the CSF results of the Sample 2 and to evaluate repartition of AD pathology in the three variant of PPA according to the latest classification.

Results: Non-Fluent/Agrammatic, Logopenic, and Unclassifiable PPA patients (NF/A-Logo-Unclass PPA) were older and more frequent than Semantic PPA patients (2.2 versus 0.8/100,000 inhabitants; p < 0.00001). Male predominance occurred after the age of 80 (p < 0.00001). A higher level of education was observed in the PPA population compared to a typical amnesic AD group. No demographical significant difference between PPA due to AD and not due to AD was observed. The Logopenic variant was most frequent with 85% of AD CSF biomarker profiles (35% in NF/A PPA; 20% in Semantic PPA).

Conclusion: PPA occurs also in an elderly population, especially in male patients over 80. CSF biomarkers are useful to stratify PPA. The epidemiology of PPA should be further investigated to confirm gender and cognitive reserve role in PPA to better understand the factors and mechanisms leading to this language-predominant deficit during neurodegenerative diseases.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers; epidemiology; frontotemporal dementia; gender; primary progressive aphasia.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis*
  • Alzheimer Disease / epidemiology*
  • Aphasia, Primary Progressive / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Aphasia, Primary Progressive / diagnosis*
  • Aphasia, Primary Progressive / epidemiology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Databases, Factual / trends
  • Female
  • France / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Secondary Care Centers* / trends
  • Tertiary Care Centers* / trends