What are the changes in behavioral characteristic of frontotemporal dementia (FTD)?

Updated: Jun 14, 2018
  • Author: Howard S Kirshner, MD; Chief Editor: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA  more...
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In frontal lobe dementia or frontotemporal lobe dementia (FTD), as opposed to primary progressive aphasia (PPA), presenting symptoms often involve alterations in personality and social conduct. [8, 9, 60]

Patients with behavioral variant frontotemporal lobe dementia (bvFTD) may become disinhibited, developing a "witzelsucht," or fatuous sense of humor. Conversely, they may become apathetic, with little spontaneous speech or activity. They tend to neglect personal hygiene and to lose sensitivity to the effects of their behaviors on others.

Some develop frank frontal lobe behavioral abnormalities, such as hyperorality, utilization behavior (ie, picking up and manipulating any object in the environment, appropriate or not), and inappropriate sexuality.

Suggested criteria for the diagnosis of behavioral variant FTD have recently been published. [60] These are discussed below.

In the original descriptions of FTD, language function either is described as reduced in output (leading to muteness) or is characterized by perseveration, stereotyped responses, or even echolalia.

A relatively underappreciated symptom may be a sociopathic one and may first come to light in the context of breaking the law. [61]

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