Objective To study the occurrence of utilisation behaviour (UB) in patients with frontotemporal dementia (FTD).
Materials and methods Twenty patients who fulfilled all core Consensus statement criteria for FTD were examined by a neurologist experienced in dementia and by a clinical neuropsychologist. All patients had imaging evidence of predominantly frontal or frontotemporal involvement. Behavioural data were obtained from care givers using a semistructured questionnaire. Questions related to UB were asked in detail. Further assessment for UB was done during the interview with the patient using common objects. Only frank and coherent UB was considered for the study. For comparison, 34 patients with probable Alzheimer's disease diagnosed by the NINCDS-ADRDA criteria were also similarly studied.
Results 80 per cent of our patients with FTD but none with probable Alzheimer's disease exhibited UB. Fourteen out of the 16 patients with FTD who exhibited UB were less than 70 years old. Among patients with UB, 88% exhibited a wide range of ‘incidental’ UB. Objects of daily use tended to trigger UB most commonly. Utilisation behaviour tended to correspond to premorbid habits in at least 75% of our patients.
Conclusion Utilisation behaviour may be more common in FTD patients than is currently recognised. The presence of UB should be queried in every patient suspected to be suffering from FTD. A comprehensive questionnaire for UB such as that used here could be useful.
- frontotemporal dementia
- utilisation behaviour
- environmental dependency syndrome
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