Helping primary care to support people with dementia

Frontotemporal dementia

August 6 2013

This article published in the British Medical Journal highlights some of the issues pertinent to Frontotemporal dementia, a clinically and pathologically heterogeneous group of non-Alzheimer dementias characterised collectively by relatively selective, progressive atrophy involving the frontal or temporal lobes, or both.

Read the article online at British Medical Journal 2013; 347:f4827

Key points for practitioners

  • Frontotemporal dementia refers to a diverse group of conditions that collectively are a major cause of young onset dementia
  • Frontotemporal dementia produces selective brain atrophy involving the frontal and temporal lobes, requiring brain magnetic resonance imaging for accurate diagnosis
  • Clinically, these diseases present chiefly as progressive aphasia or as disintegration of personality and behaviour that may be misdiagnosed as a psychiatric disorder
  • Up to around a quarter of cases arise from dominant mutations in one of three major causative genes
  • Frontotemporal dementia is commonly associated with other neurological impairment, in particular parkinsonism or motor neurone disease
  • Treatment remains supportive, but patients and families need extensive counselling, future planning, and involvement of social and mental health services


Warren J. D., Rohrer J. D., Rossor M. N. (2013) Frontotemporal dementia British Medical Journal 2013; 347:f4827

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