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Can J Neurol Sci. 2015 Nov;42(6):389-94. doi: 10.1017/cjn.2015.266. Epub 2015 Sep 2.

Trajectories of Behavioural Disturbances Across Dementia Types.

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2Rotman Research Institute of Baycrest,Mt. Sinai,Toronto,Ontario,Canada.
1Faculty of Health Sciences,Wilfrid Laurier University,Waterloo.
3Baycrest Department of Psychiatry,Mt. Sinai,Toronto,Ontario,Canada.



To replicate a previous finding that the trajectory of the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) shifts in the sixth year of behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD). We evaluated longitudinal tracking with both the Frontal Behavioural Inventory (FBI) and NPI, comparing bvFTD against other dementias.


Chart reviews over two to five years for patients with bvFTD (n=30), primary progressive aphasia (PPA, n=13) and Alzheimer's disease (AD, n=118) at an urban Canadian tertiary clinic specializing in dementia. Linear regressions of the longitudinal data tested predictors of annualized rates of change (ROC) in NPI and FBI total and subscales for apathy and disinhibition among dementia groups.


The mode of the overall sample for the most advanced duration of illness observed was 5 years, with the median at 7 years. We did not find a crescendo-decrescendo pattern in scores although, for bvFTD and AD, high initial scores correlated with ensuing downward ROCs on the NPI and FBI. Educational level showed an influence on disinhibition ROCs. The FBI was no more revealing than the NPI for apathy and disinhibition scores in these dementias.


A cognitive reserve effect on behavioural disturbance was supported but it may take longer than our 4 years of observing the clinical sample to record inflection points in the behavioural and psychiatric symptoms seen in bvFTD. The current data only imply that both apathy and disinhibition will diminish over the course of dementia.


Alzheimer’s; apathy; behavioural and psychiatric symptoms of dementia; behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia; disease progression; disinhibition; duration of illness; longitudinal study; primary progressive aphasia

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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