Learning disabilities associated with language problems later in life

February 11, 2008

Individuals with a neurodegenerative condition affecting language appear more likely to have had a history of learning disabilities than those with other types of dementia or with no cognitive problems, according to a report in the February issue of Archives of Neurology.

The condition known as primary progressive aphasia causes individuals to lose language abilities as they age, even though their other brain functions appear unaffected for at least the first two years, according to background information in the article. “Although risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease have been well studied, much less is known about risk factors for primary progressive aphasia,” the authors write.

Emily Rogalski, Ph.D., then at Northwestern University and now at Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, and colleagues studied a group of 699 individuals—108 with primary progressive aphasia, 154 with Alzheimer’s disease, 84 with a related disorder known as frontotemporal dementia and 353 controls without dementia. When enrolling in the study, participants completed a detailed demographic and medical history interview that included two questions about whether they or immediate family members had a history of learning disabilities. A medical record review was conducted for the 23 individuals with primary progressive aphasia who reported either a personal or family history of learning disability.

Patients with primary progressive aphasia were more likely to have had learning disabilities or a close family member with learning disabilities than were those with other forms of dementia or without dementia. The review of patients with both aphasia and learning disabilities showed families with unusually high rates of learning problems, especially dyslexia. “For example, in three cases, nine of the 10 children of the probands [participants] were reported to have a history of specific learning disability in the area of language,” the authors write.

“In our clinical practice, we encounter many patients with primary progressive aphasia who report that spelling was never their ‘strong suit’ or that they could not learn new languages, but who would not have identified themselves as having a learning disability,” they continue. The findings may, therefore, underestimate the frequency of learning disabilities in patients and their families.

Source: JAMA and Archives Journals

Explore further: New research shows that apps, technology and modern teaching skills work for children with reading disabilities

Related Stories

New research shows that apps, technology and modern teaching skills work for children with reading disabilities

November 28, 2017
New research from Linnaeus University in Sweden shows that apps, technology and modern teaching skills are working for children with reading disabilities. The mental health of these children is affected positively by the ...

Team develops neuro test that distinguishes demyelinating diseases from multiple sclerosis

November 28, 2017
Mayo Clinic has launched a first-in-the-U.S. clinical test that will help patients who recently have been diagnosed with an inflammatory demyelinating disease (IDD) but may be unsure of the exact disorder. Neurologic-related ...

'It never really leaves you.' Opioids haunt users' recovery

November 20, 2017
It's hard to say whether businessman Kyle Graves hit rock bottom when he shot himself in the ankle so emergency room doctors would feed his opioid habit or when he broke into a safe to steal his father's cancer pain medicine.

Australia and Indonesia must work together to combat domestic violence

November 9, 2017
In Bali on 5 September this year, a husband violently hacked off his wife's feet with a machete. The victim, Ni Putu Kariani, survived the horrific attack, but will be permanently disabled.

Promising new leprosy vaccine moves into human trials

October 12, 2017
Today marks a significant step forward in the prevention and treatment of leprosy as the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) and American Leprosy Missions announce the start of a Phase 1 clinical trial in humans ...

Confidential Inquiry into premature deaths of people with learning disabilities: Response to paper published in The Lanc

December 12, 2013
The Confidential Inquiry into premature deaths of people with learning disabilities, conducted by researchers at the University of Bristol's Norah Fry Research Centre, highlighted the unacceptable situation in which up to ...

Recommended for you

Drug found that induces apoptosis in myofibroblasts reducing fibrosis in scleroderma

December 15, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—An international team of researchers has found that the drug navitoclax can induce apoptosis (self-destruction) in myofibroblasts in mice, reducing the spread of fibrosis in scleroderma. In their paper ...

How defeating THOR could bring a hammer down on cancer

December 14, 2017
It turns out Thor, the Norse god of thunder and the Marvel superhero, has special powers when it comes to cancer too.

Researchers track muscle stem cell dynamics in response to injury and aging

December 14, 2017
A new study led by researchers at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) describes the biology behind why muscle stem cells respond differently to aging or injury. The findings, published in Cell Stem Cell, ...

'Human chronobiome' study informs timing of drug delivery, precision medicine approaches

December 13, 2017
Symptoms and efficacy of medications—and indeed, many aspects of the human body itself—vary by time of day. Physicians tell patients to take their statins at bedtime because the related liver enzymes are more active during ...

Study confirms link between the number of older brothers and increased odds of being homosexual

December 12, 2017
Groundbreaking research led by a team from Brock University has further confirmed that sexual orientation for men is likely determined in the womb.

Potassium is critical to circadian rhythms in human red blood cells

December 12, 2017
An innovative new study from the University of Surrey and Cambridge's MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, published in the prestigious journal Nature Communications, has uncovered the secrets of the circadian rhythms in ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.