Posterior Cortical Atrophy


Posterior Cortical Atrophy (PCA) is a neurological syndrome characterized by the gradual deterioration of brain cells, predominantly affecting visual processing and spatial reasoning. This condition presents challenges in eyesight and the interpretation of visual information.

Typical symptoms include difficulties in reading, judging distance, and manipulating objects. Individuals may experience trouble recognizing familiar faces and objects, as well as making calculations. As PCA progresses, it can lead to memory decline and cognitive impairment.

PCA results from the progressive loss of brain cells in the posterior region responsible for visual processing and spatial reasoning. This significantly impacts the individual’s ability to accurately interpret visual and spatial cues. While Alzheimer’s disease accounts for over 80% of cases, PCA can also arise from other neurological conditions like Lewy body dementia or corticobasal degeneration.


Symptoms of posterior cortical atrophy can vary from person to person and may also change over time, typically worsening gradually. Common symptoms include difficulties with:

  • Math, spelling, or reading.
  • Operating a vehicle.
  • Putting on clothes.
  • Distinguishing between moving objects and stationary ones.
  • Determining the distance between items.
  • Using commonplace items or equipment.
  • Knowing right from left.

Additional typical symptoms consist of:

  • Anxiety
  • Feeling confused
  • Personality and behavioral changes

Memory issues could develop later in the illness.


Posterior cortical atrophy is mainly attributed to a variant of Alzheimer’s disease that primarily impacts the posterior brain regions. Less common causes encompass corticobasal degeneration, Lewy body dementia, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Scientists are exploring potential genetic variations linked to this condition.

Risk factors

Additional research is required to ascertain whether the risk factors associated with Alzheimer’s disease may contribute to the development of posterior cortical atrophy.