Clinical Differences Among Four Common Dementia Syndromes

Weerasak Muangpaisan


Geriatrics and Aging. 2007;10(7):425-429. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Cases of dementia are increasing due to longer life expectancy of the world population. Physicians should be able to recognize common dementia syndromes. After excluding reversible causes of dementia, there are four common dementia syndromes, which are Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy body, and frontotemporal dementia. The key points of clinical differences of these dementia syndromes are summarized in this article.


There are four clinical dementia syndromes accounting for 90% of all cases after excluding other common reversible causes of cognitive impairment.[1] These four major diseases are Alzheimer's disease (AD) and vascular dementia (VaD), which together account for approximately 80% of dementias, dementia with Lewy body (DLB), and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). The four common diseases have different clinical characteristics, and there are diagnostic criteria for each of them. These criteria bear review as physicians who deal with dementia might not always recall them in detail. As AD is the most common cause of dementia, accounting for 50-60% of cases, physicians should be familiar with the clinical difference between AD and other diseases.[2,3] This article will focus on the clinical difference between AD and other common dementia syndromes.


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