Neurocognitive basis of repetition deficits in primary progressive aphasia.


Memory and Aging Center, Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94158, USA. Electronic address: [Email]


Previous studies indicate that repetition is affected in primary progressive aphasia (PPA), particularly in the logopenic variant, due to limited auditory-verbal short-term memory (avSTM). We tested repetition of phrases varied by length (short, long) and meaning (meaningful, non-meaningful) in 58 participants (22 logopenic, 19 nonfluent, and 17 semantic variants) and 21 healthy controls using a modified Bayles repetition test. We evaluated the relation between cortical thickness and repetition performance and whether sub-scores could discriminate PPA variants. Logopenic participants showed impaired repetition across all phrases, specifically in repeating long phrases and any phrases that were non-meaningful. Nonfluent, semantic, and healthy control participants only had difficulty repeating long, non-meaningful phrases. Poor repetition of long phrases was associated with cortical thinning in left temporo-parietal areas across all variants, highlighting the importance of these areas in avSTM. Finally, Bayles repetition phrases can assist classification in PPA, discriminating logopenic from nonfluent/semantic participants with 89% accuracy.


Cortical thickness,Length,Phrase repetition,Primary progressive aphasia,Semantics,