AFTD Ambassador Discusses PPA on “Just Ask Dr. Macie” Show



AFTD Ambassador Katie Zenger, MPH, joined gerontology social worker and dementia-care educator Dr. Macie Smith for a discussion on primary progressive aphasia (PPA) and its effects on cognitive functioning in a recent episode of the “Just Ask Dr. Macie” show.

“Not enough is known about these rare dementias that actually can cause aphasia,” Zenger shared in the Apr. 18 episode. Zenger explained how PPA affects a person’s language capabilities over time. She underscored the importance of care partners/caregivers helping persons living with PPA in navigating new or altered ways to communicate.

“There’s no speech therapy you can do to bring your person ‘back’ [when they have] primary progressive aphasia, but there are things that you can do to be a better communicator with that person,” said Zenger, making her second appearance on the “Just Ask Dr. Macie” show. “It’s really put on the person who’s giving the care to do the best job to help them communicate.”

Dr. Smith and Zenger were joined by speech pathologist Rene Mills, who discussed how aphasia can be caused PPA or by other conditions, such as strokes. She explained that stroke-related aphasia could result in recovery “because there is not that continued death of the neurons and the connection to each other” as found in PPA.

You can watch AFTD Ambassador Katie Zenger on the “Just Ask Dr. Macie” show here.

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