Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is the second most common cause of early onset dementia and is clinically characterized by progressive behavioural change, executive dysfunctions, and language difficulties. FTD is frequently confused with Alzheimer?s disease and psychiatric disorders. Clinical features of FTD include changes of personality, restlessness, loss of inhibition, apathy, social withdrawal and impulsiveness. Most patients with FTD display socially inappropriate behaviours, compulsive-like acts, poor insight and psychiatric features including hallucinations and paranoid delusions. These symptoms can lead to misdiagnosing FTD as a psychiatric disorder. The etiology of sporadic FTD is unknown. In hereditary FTD, a causative mutation in the tau gene has been identified. Three clinical FTD syndromes has been described; a behavioural variant of FTD, semantic dementia and progressive non-fluent aphasia. At the present time the term ?FTD? is used to define clinical syndromes while ?frontotemporal lobar degener ation? refers to underlying pathologies. A detailed history and psychiatric and neurologic examination with the usage of magnetic resonance imaging can help to distinguish FTD from other common forms of dementia and psychiatric disorders. Although no effective treatment for FTD exists, serotonin reuptake inhibitor drugs have been shown to improve behavioural symptoms.
Frontotemporal dementia, neuropsychiatric symptoms, treatment