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Neuropsychology. 2009 Nov;23(6):765-77. doi: 10.1037/a0016792.

Executive functions in frontotemporal dementia and Lewy body dementia.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Concordia University, Quebec, Canada.


Diagnosis of different types of dementia is often based on clinical symptomatology rather than underlying pathology; therefore, accurate diagnosis depends on a thorough description of cognitive functioning in different dementias. Furthermore, direct comparison of cognitive functions between different types of dementia is necessary for differential diagnosis. Executive dysfunction is common in several types of dementia, including frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and Lewy body dementia (LBD); however, FTD and LBD patients have never been directly compared on measures of executive functioning. The authors compared the performance of 17 FTD and 15 LBD patients on 6 measures of executive functioning in terms of statistical group differences, mean severity of clinical impairment in comparison to normal controls, and frequency of impairment. Results indicated a remarkably similar pattern of performance across all areas examined in terms of mean performance, as well as degree and frequency of impairment. Only the Stroop test produced results that could potentially differentiate the patient groups. These findings suggest that both FTD and LBD should be considered disorders involving executive dysfunction.

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