Clinical Neuroscience

[Frontotemporal dementia - Part III - Clinical diagnosis and treatment]

GALARIOTIS Vasilis, BÓDI Nikoletta, JANKA Zoltán, KÁLMÁN János

OCTOBER 10, 2005

Clinical Neuroscience - 2005;58(09-10)

[The authors report a comprehensive publication consisting of three parts going into the details of history, prevalence, clinical forms, differential diagnosis, genetics, molecular pathomechanism, and pathology, clinical diagnosis and treatment of frontotemporal dementia (FTD). The third part of the present review focuses on the clinical diagnosis and treatment of FTD. The diagnosis of FTD is problematic even today. Mental status, psychometric testing as well as imaging studies such as PET and SPECT, and laboratory examinations may be helpful in the diagnosis. Unfortunately, bedside tests are generally insensitive to mild dysexecutive deficits. Most of FTDs do not have characteristic laboratory abnormalities or brain atrophy sufficient to set up the diagnosis; these only allow to rule out other disorders and assume the diagnosis of FTD. An effective treatment for FTD is still to be established. The improvement of serotonin metabolism has been proposed as a biological treatment. Recent studies suggest that bromocriptine may improve selective frontal symptoms, but this and the efficacy of other dopaminergic drugs need further evaluation. Drugs that prevent the expression or accumulation of tau seem to be the most promising causal approach. In aphasia behavioral therapy may be attempted. In addition, caregiver management is essential, because as with those of Alzheimer’s dementia patients, they also carry a significant psychosocial stress.]

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