J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 72:691-700 doi:10.1136/jnnp.72.6.691
  • Advances in neuropsychiatry

Presenile dementia syndromes: an update on taxonomy and diagnosis

  1. M D Greicius1,
  2. M D Geschwind2,
  3. B L Miller2
  1. 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, USA
  2. 2Department of Neurology, UCSF School of Medicine, San Francisco, California, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
 Professor B L Miller, Memory and Aging Center, University of California San Francisco, Box 1207, 350 Parnassus Avenue, CA 94117, USA;
  • Received 22 May 2001
  • Accepted 18 December 2001
  • Revised 6 December 2001


The four major degenerative dementias that often begin in presenescence: are reviewed. These are Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, and Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease. Their epidemiological, genetic, and clinical features are reviewed, and controversies in taxonomy arising from recent discoveries described. Particular attention is given to the pathological role of protein aggregation, which appears to be a factor in each disease.


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