Non-fluent progressive aphasia is the most common form of degenerative focal neuropsychological syndrome (Mesulam, 1982). Its presentation with long-standing isolated aphasia and evolution toward late occurring dementia are typical clinical features of a neuropathological condition considered as distinct from Alzheimer’s disease but whose boundaries are still ill-defined. Therefore, progressive aphasia may be taken as a model of focal cortical degeneration and, as such, provides the unique opportunity of studying the effect of focused cognitive therapy or training of a specific subsystem of linguistic processes. Among the different aspects of language impairment in non-fluent progressive aphasia, a phonological deficit has been repeatedly pointed out (Béland & Paradis, 1997 ; Croot et al., 1998). Moreover, our knowledge of phonological processes in general has benefited of recent advances from different points of view, e.g. brain functional imaging (Démonet et al., 1992) or neuropsychological rehabilitation (Habib et al., 1999).
We report here a preliminary study using intensive phonological training in one typical case of non-fluent progressive aphasia demonstrating that, at least for the trained functions, significant improvement may occur in spite of progressing degenerative process, thus providing evidence of preserved brain plasticity in neurodegenerative disease.

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