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Int Psychogeriatr. 1998 Jun;10(2):155-62.

Behavioral differences between frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer's disease: a comparison on the BEHAVE-AD rating scale.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, University of California at Los Angeles, USA.


Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a dementing syndrome characterized by the occurrence of neuropsychiatric features early in the clinical course. Patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) also have neuropsychiatric symptoms, but these symptoms typically emerge later in the course after the development of memory and other cognitive impairment. The BEHAVE-AD, an instrument developed to evaluate neuropsychiatric features in dementia, may help characterize the behavioral features of FTD and differentiate FTD from AD. This study evaluated BEHAVE-AD results of 29 patients with the diagnosis of FTD compared to those of 29 patients with the diagnosis of probable AD of similar dementia severity. The FTD patients had significantly worse global BEHAVE-AD scores compared to the AD patients. Verbal outbursts and inappropriate activity characterized the FTD patients, and three BEHAVE-AD subscales correctly classified 69% of the patients. The assessment of neuropsychiatric symptoms with a standardized scale or inventory can help distinguish dementia patients with FTD and AD.

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