J Korean Geriatr Psychiatry.  2012 Dec;16(2):67-74.

Clinical Features and Therapeutic Approaches of Frontotemporal Dementia

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, Inje University Ilsan Paik Hospital, Ilsan, Korea. lkj@paik.ac.kr


Frontotemporal dementia (FTD), formerly called Pick's disease, is a progressive dementia that is associated with focal atrophy of the frontal and/or temporal lobes. FTD has three major clinical subtypes ; 1) a frontal variant of frontotemporal dementia (fvFTD), 2) semantic dementia (SD), and 3) progressive nonfluent aphasia (PNFA). These different variants differ in their clinical symptoms, cognitive deficits, and affected brain regions. The insidious onset of personality changes and behavioral abnormalities is the most prominent feature of fvFTD. Poor insight, loss of personal and social awareness, and blunting of affect are common behavioral changes in fvFTD. The most common presenting complaint in SD involves language, and is often described as a loss of memory for words or a loss of word meaning. Patients with PNFA present with changes in fluency, pronunciation, or word finding difficulty. An accumulating body of evidence suggests that FTD overlaps with three other neurodegenerative diseases: motor neuron disease (MND), corticobasal degeneration (CBD), and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). Treatment for FTD consists of behavioral and pharmacological approaches. Medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, antipsychotics have used in FTD. Cholinesterase inhibitors do not consistently improve cognitive and behavioral symptoms of FTD. Further research should be directed at developing new therapeutic methods to improve the patients' symptoms.


Frontotemporal dementia; Semantic dementia; Progressive nonfluent aphasia
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