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Nervenarzt. 2013 Jan;84(1):20-32. doi: 10.1007/s00115-012-3477-x.

[Frontotemporal dementias].

[Article in German]

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Klinik f├╝r Neurologie, Universit├Ątsklinikum Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Kiel, Schittenhelmstr. 10, 24105 Kiel, Deutschland.


Frontotemporal dementias (FTD) account for only 5-7% of all dementia aetiologies. However, FTD is one common form of dementia in the presenile period with a symptom onset between an age of 45 and 65 years. FTD are clinically classified into a group of rare genetic variants, the behavioural variant, primary progressive aphasias and a variant including motor neuron symptoms (FTD-MNS). In recent years the pathobiological characteristics of some FTD variants was clarified, demonstrating a pathological accumulation of TAR-DNA binding protein 43 (TDP-43) as a common pathological substrate. The revised diagnostic criteria of the behavioural variant of the FTD require at least three of six clinically discriminating features (disinhibition, apathy, loss of sympathy, perseverative behaviours, hyperorality and dysexecutive neuropsychological profile). The primary progressive aphasias are classified in a nonfluent/agrammatic variant, a logopenic variant and a semantic variant according to clinical and imaging features. Movement disorders and more precisely a Parkinsonian syndrome can be part of the FTD spectrum. Some clinical features overlap the clinical diagnosis of a progressive supranuclear paralysis and the corticobasal ganglionic degeneration. A causal therapy does not exist and medical treatment is directed at the patient's key symptoms. Different agents such as serotonin reuptake inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants, atypical neuroleptics, carbamazepine, valproate, lamotrigine and when indicated also acetylcholinesterase inhibitors are potentially helpful. All together, theses medical treatments have a low level of evidence. Non-pharmacological therapies such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and disease-specific education of the patient and their relatives are important to ensure a safe residential environment and daily routine.

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