You are looking at a woman’s face; the contours and features seem so familiar. You see the billowing brown hair, the broad smile, the almond-shaped eyes. You may even be able to describe things about her: Famous talk show host, actress in “The Color Purple,” philanthropist.
You feel a familiar pang of frustration because the name seems to be in your grasp, but you cannot come up with it.
The person, of course, is Oprah Winfrey. The inability to conjure the name of such a famous face, for some people, is one of several symptoms of a brain disease called primary progressive aphasia (PPA).
The disease “affects a person’s ability to communicate,” said Tamar Gefen, a doctoral candidate at the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Center at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, adding that the disease attacks language centers in the brain.
“Slowly, over time a person loses the ability to name, comprehend, write and communicate,” Gefen said.
Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education