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Simple motor stereotypies are not specific features of behavioural frontotemporal dementia
  1. Annachiara Cagnin1,2,
  2. Chiara Formentin1,
  3. Sara Pompanin1,
  4. Giulia Zarantonello1,
  5. Nela Jelcic2,
  6. Annalena Venneri2,3,
  7. Mario Ermani1
  1. 1Department of Neurosciences: SNPSRR, University of Padova, Padova, Italy
  2. 2IRCCS San Camillo Research Hospital, Venice, Italy
  3. 3Department of Neuroscience, University of Sheffield and Sheffield Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Annachiara Cagnin, Department of Neurosciences: Sciences NPSRR, University of Padova Medical School, Via Giustiniani 5, Padova 35128, Italy; annachiara.cagnin{at}

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Stereotypies and repetitive behaviours are among the core features for the diagnosis of the behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD).1 A positive rating in this behavioural domain occurs if the patient manifests one of the following features: simple repetitive movements, verbal stereotypies or complex compulsive or ritualistic behaviours.1 Stereotypies are involuntary non-goal-directed repetitive movement patterns, distractible and temporary suppressible, resulting in simple motor or verbal actions (elementary stereotypies), or in more complex series of movements (complex stereotypies).2

To systematically assess stereotypies and repetitive behaviours, two questionnaires are available: the Stereotypy Rating Inventory (SRI)3 and the Stereotypic and Ritualistic Behaviour (SRB)4 subscale. In the SRI questionnaire, elementary and complex stereotypies are investigated together without a distinction between simple and more complex motor stereotypies. In the SRB subscale, instead, simple motor stereotypies are not considered.

In this study, we partially revised the SRB subscale with the aim (a) to add one item that specifically investigates simple motor stereotypies and (b) to enlarge the spectrum of simple verbal stereotypies. This SRB-revised subscale was therefore applied to 31 patients receiving a diagnosis of bvFTD according to recently proposed international criteria1 and compared with 57 patients with a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) based on NINCDS-ADRDA criteria, with the aim of defining frequency and characteristics of stereotyped and repetitive behaviours for a better application of the bvFTD …

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  • CF and SP contributed equally.

  • Acknowledgements We would like to thank Silvia Favaretto for patients’ referral and selection.

  • Contributors AC was responsible for the conception and organisation of the research project and wrote the manuscript. CF and SP were responsible for data acquisition and reviewed the manuscript. GZ contributed to organisation of the project and data acquisition. NJ contributed to data acquisition and analysis. AV participated in the conception of the study and critically reviewed the manuscript. ME did the statistical analysis, contributed to the conception of the study and critically reviewed the manuscript.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval Institutional Review Board San Camillo Hospital.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.