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Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2010;29(1):88-96. doi: 10.1159/000255141. Epub 2010 Feb 11.

Anosognosia for behavioral disturbances in frontotemporal dementia and corticobasal syndrome: A voxel-based morphometry study.

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Cognitive Neuroscience Section, NINDS, NIH, Bethesda, MD 20892-1440, USA.



Patients with syndromes of the frontotemporal dementia spectrum are frequently unaware of their behavioral changes.


Seventy patients with a clinical diagnosis of behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bv-FTD, n = 27), aphasic variant frontotemporal dementia (a-FTD, n = 12) and corticobasal syndrome (CBS, n = 31) participated in the study. Anosognosia for behavioral disturbances was measured as discrepancy between caregiver's and patient's ratings on the Frontal Systems Behavior Scale for present and premorbid behavioral symptoms. Voxel-based morphometry analysis of MRI data was performed to explore the association between anosognosia and gray matter loss.


Although behavioral symptoms were reported in all the groups, the comparison between present and premorbid anosognosia revealed that bv-FTD patients not only underestimated their present behavioral disturbances compared to their caregivers, but also overestimated their premorbid behavioral disturbances. Across all groups, the degree of anosognosia for present behavioral impairment correlated with gray matter atrophy in a posterior region of the right superior temporal sulcus (adjacent to the temporoparietal junction).


These results confirm the role of the right temporoparietal cortex in the genesis of anosognosia and suggest that, in clinical syndromes of the frontotemporal dementia spectrum, anosognosia is associated with the dysfunction of temporoparietal mechanisms of self versus others knowledge.

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