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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 25 (2012), Issue 1, Pages 45-52

Decision Making Cognition in Primary Progressive Aphasia

Ezequiel Gleichgerrcht,1,2 Teresa Torralva,1,2 María Roca,1,2 Daniela Szenkman,1 Agustin Ibanez,1,2,3,4 Pablo Richly,1 Mariángeles Pose,1 and Facundo Manes1,2

1Institute of Cognitive Neurology (INECO), Buenos Aires, Argentina
2Institute of Neurosciences, Favaloro University, Buenos Aires, Argentina
3Universidad Diego Portales, Santiago, Chile
4National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET), Buenos Aires, Argentina

Received 26 December 2011; Accepted 26 December 2011

Copyright © 2012 Hindawi Publishing Corporation and the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We sought to investigate the decision making profile of Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA) by assessing patients diagnosed with this disease (n = 10), patients diagnosed with behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD, n = 35), and matched controls (n = 14) using the Iowa Gambling Task, a widely used test that mimics real-life decision making. Participants were also evaluated with a complete neuropsychological battery. Patients with PPA were unable to adopt an advantageous strategy on the IGT, which resulted in a flat performance, different to that exhibited by both controls (who showed advantageous decision making) and bvFTD patients (who showed risk-appetitive behavior). The decision making profile of PPA patients was not associated with performance on language tasks and did not differ between sub-variants of the disease (namely, semantic dementia and progressive nonfluent aphasia). Investigating decision making in PPA is crucial both from a theoretical perspective, as it can shed light about the way in which language interacts with other cognitive functions, as well as a clinical standpoint, as it could lead to a more objective detection of impairments of decision making deficits in this condition.