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Neurocase. 2013;19(1):76-84. doi: 10.1080/13554794.2011.654218. Epub 2012 Jun 14.

Frontotemporal dementia in eight Chinese individuals.

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Department of Neurology, Memory and Aging Center, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.


Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) has rarely been reported in Chinese populations. There are many potential reasons for this, including possible hesitancy on the part of patients or families to bring FTD-related symptoms to medical attention. Here, we present data on eight Chinese individuals, all of whom met criteria for the behavioral variant of FTD or the semantic variant of primary progressive aphasia. These patients presented for neurological evaluation at a relatively advanced stage. The mean MMSE score at initial presentation was 15. Behavioral symptoms were common and usually elicited during the medical history only after direct questioning. Delay in presentation was attributed to a variety of issues, including family disagreements about whether the symptoms represented a disease and lack of medical insurance. These cases illustrate that the symptoms of FTD in Chinese-Americans are similar to those in Caucasians but various factors, some potentially culturally relevant, may influence the likelihood and timing of clinical presentation for FTD, as well as other dementias. Additional study of FTD in diverse ethnic groups needs to address barriers to clinical presentation, including factors that may be culturally specific.

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