What causes frontotemporal dementia (FTD)?

Updated: Jun 14, 2018
  • Author: Howard S Kirshner, MD; Chief Editor: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA  more...
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Considerable progress has been made with regard to understanding the genetics and molecular pathology of frontotemporal lobe dementia (FTD). Prior to the late 1990s, the FTD syndromes were defined by clinical syndromes and by light microscopic histopathology only. FTD cases included Pick disease and non-Pick lobar atrophy cases lacking the silver staining Pick bodies in neurons. This pathology was referred to as "dementia lacking specific histologic features. [18] Kirshner and colleagues also described 2 cases of primary progressive aphasia (PPA) in which autopsy documented only focal neuronal loss, gliosis, and microvacuolation of the cortex, changes resembling a nonspecific dementia or FTD. [19]

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