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J Speech Lang Hear Res. 2018 Sep 19;61(9):2337-2346. doi: 10.1044/2018_JSLHR-L-17-0474.

Quantitative Analysis of Agrammatism in Agrammatic Primary Progressive Aphasia and Dominant Apraxia of Speech.

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Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.
Department of Neurology, Division of Speech Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.
Department of Neurology, Division of Behavioral Neurology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.
Department of Neurology, Division of Movement Disorders, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.



The aims of the study were to assess and compare grammatical deficits in written and spoken language production in subjects with agrammatic primary progressive aphasia (agPPA) and in subjects with agrammatism in the context of dominant apraxia of speech (DAOS) and to investigate neuroanatomical correlates.


Eight agPPA and 21 DAOS subjects performed the picture description task of the Western Aphasia Battery (WAB) both in writing and orally. Responses were transcribed and coded for linguistic analysis. agPPA and DAOS were compared to 13 subjects with primary progressive apraxia of speech (PPAOS) who did not have agrammatism. Spearman correlations were performed between the written and spoken variables. Patterns of atrophy in each group were compared, and relationships between the different linguistic measures and integrity of Broca's area were assessed.


agPPA and DAOS both showed lower mean length of utterance, fewer grammatical utterances, more nonutterances, more syntactic and semantic errors, and fewer complex utterances than PPAOS in writing and speech, as well as fewer correct verbs and nouns in speech. Only verb ratio and proportion of grammatical utterances correlated between modalities. agPPA and DAOS both showed greater involvement of Broca's area than PPAOS, and atrophy of Broca's area correlated with proportion of grammatical and ungrammatical utterances and semantic errors in writing and speech.


agPPA and DAOS subjects showed similar patterns of agrammatism, although subjects performed differently when speaking versus writing. Integrity of Broca's area correlates with agrammatism.

[Available on 2019-03-01]

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