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Ann Neurol. 2008 Jul;64(1):97-108. doi: 10.1002/ana.21430.

Rapidly progressive dementia.

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  • 1University of California San Francisco Memory & Aging Center, Department of Neurology, San Francisco, CA 94143-1207, USA.


In contrast with more common dementing conditions that typically develop over years, rapidly progressive dementias can develop subacutely over months, weeks, or even days and be quickly fatal. Because many rapidly progressive dementias are treatable, it is paramount to evaluate and diagnose these patients quickly. This review summarizes recent advances in the understanding of the major categories of RPD and outlines efficient approaches to the diagnosis of the various neurodegenerative, toxic-metabolic, infectious, autoimmune, neoplastic, and other conditions that may progress rapidly.

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