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CNS Spectr. 2008 Mar;13(3):202-8.

The spectrum of recurrent thoughts and behaviors in frontotemporal dementia.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, the David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California-Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA. mmendez@UCLA.edu


This article describes the spectrum of recurrent thoughts and behaviors that can result from frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and its variants. Although repetitive behaviors can result from a range of brain disorders, FTD is the most common neurologic cause of new-onset recurrent thoughts and behaviors in middle or late life. Patients with FTD can manifest typical or bizarre compulsions, hoarding, verbal and motor stereotypies and complex tics; self-injurious acts, perseverations; and fixed, obsessional thoughts. The frequency and variability of these repetitive behaviors suggest a common disturbance of orbitofrontal-basal ganglia circuits involved in response inhibition. The amelioration of these recurrent events with the administration of serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors further suggests a serotonergic deficit.

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