Background: Recent findings suggest that patients with behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia (bv-FTD) differ in their disease progression (progressive vs non-progressive patients). The current study investigates whether the two groups can be discriminated by their clinical features at first presentation.
Methods: Archival clinical data of the Early Onset Dementia Clinic, Cambridge, UK, were analysed for 71 patients with bv-FTD: 45 progressive and 26 non-progressive cases with more than 3 years of follow-up.
Results: The subgroups were largely indistinguishable on the basis of the presenting clinical features but could be distinguished on general cognitive (Addenbrooke’s Cognitive Examination-revised) and selected supportive diagnostic features (distractibility, stereotypic speech, impaired activities of daily living (ADLs) and current depression).
Conclusions: Progressive and non-progressive patients are difficult to differentiate on the basis of current clinical diagnostic criteria for FTD but a combination of general cognitive, executive dysfunction and impaired ADL measures appear to be the most promising discriminators.
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Funding: This research was funded in part by an MRC program grant to JRH. JRH is supported by an Australian Research Council Federation Fellowship (FF0776229). OP is supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia Clinical Career Development Award Fellowship (#510184).
Competing interests: None.
Ethics approval: The study was approved by Addenbrooke’s Hospital Local Research Ethics Committee, Cambridge, UK.
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