Positive changes to written language following phonological treatment in logopenic variant primary progressive aphasia: Case report

Katlyn Nickels, Pélagie M. Beeson, Kindle Rising, Fatima Jebahi, Aneta Kielar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Phonological impairment contributes to deficits in repetition and spoken naming in logopenic variant Primary Progressive Aphasia (lvPPA), but weakened phonology can also affect written language skills. In this experimental case report, we demonstrate phonological text agraphia in a 71-year-old woman in the early stages of lvPPA that undermined her ability to write meaningful, grammatical sentences. We investigated the therapeutic value of a rigorous treatment protocol to strengthen phonological manipulation skills coupled with transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). Intervention took place 5 days a week for 2 weeks with active tDCS, followed by a 2-month rest period, and then a second period of phonological treatment with sham tDCS. Over the course of treatment, our participant demonstrated improved phonological transcoding and manipulation skills as well as marked improvement in the proportion of grammatically well-formed, meaningful written narratives. Improvements in spelling and letter selection were also observed. Treatment gains were documented during phonological intervention in both active tDCS and sham treatment phases and were maintained 2 months after the conclusion of intervention. Importantly, improvements were observed in the context of a progressive disorder. These data present compelling evidence regarding the impairment-based approach that targets compromised phonological skills, presenting opportunity for improving functional written communication skills relevant to the everyday lives of individuals with lvPPA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1006350
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
StatePublished - Jan 25 2023


  • case report
  • logopenic variant primary progressive aphasia
  • phonological treatment
  • tDCS
  • written language

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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