Bárbara Costa Beber, PhD, SLP

Atlantic Fellow at GBHI
Trinity College Dublin

Professional Profile
Home Country: Brazil
Field of Employment: Speech & Language
Key Areas: primary progressive aphasia, Alzheimer’s disease, language disorders, cognitive assessment, public health

Good comprehension of the brain’s language behaviors is the foundation for advancing the diagnosis and treatment of progressive aphasias.


Bárbara Costa Beber is a speech and language pathologist who is passionate about studying human language and cognition. She joined GBHI with the aim of understanding how language is disrupted in neurodegenerative diseases that affect brain areas involved in language, as in the case of primary progressive aphasia.

In her home country of Brazil, the diagnosis of dementia can be imprecise, and many patients receive the wrong diagnosis or are never diagnosed at all. Misdiagnosis affects the quality of life of patients and their families, as well as causing problems for the public health system. Beber is interested in improving the diagnosis of dementia in Brazil, especially in cases of primary progressive aphasia. She believes that understanding the mechanisms behind language disruptions, developing new language tests, and educating health professionals to recognize early signs of cognitive impairment are the first steps toward improving the condition of patients with dementias that are characterized by language disorders. In Brazil, Beber is one of the few researchers who has expertise in primary progressive aphasia, and she is strongly committed to advancing scientific knowledge of the condition in the field of brain health.

Bio: Bárbara Costa Beber earned a master’s degree in human communication disorders from the Federal University of Santa Maria and a PhD in medicine and medical sciences from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul. During her PhD, Beber was a visiting scholar at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center. In Brazil, she is an assistant professor and researcher in the department of speech and language sciences of the Federal University of Health Sciences of Porto Alegre (UFCSPA).