Frontotemporal dementia

Dr Henry Knipe et al.

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is an umbrella term reflecting the clinical syndromes of a range of diseases that cause frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), which is characterized by selective atrophy of the frontal and/or temporal cortices.

Previously, Pick's disease has been used as an alternative term for frontotemporal dementia 2

Frontotemporal dementia is a major cause of young-onset dementia with most patients (60%) being diagnosed between 45-60 years and 10% being diagnosed <45 years old. Prevalence is estimated at between 1-26 cases per 100,000 population 2

Patients with frontotemporal dementia present with changes in behavior, executive function and/or language 1,2.

The major clinical syndromes of frontotemporal dementia include (N.B. variable nomenclature) 1-3:

Frontotemporal dementia is characterized by selective atrophy of the frontal and/or temporal cortices, with frontoinsular atrophy considered to be particularly indicative of the diagnosis 2. Please see specific variant articles for further details. 

Frontotemporal dementia was first described by Arnold Pick (1851–1924), Czech psychiatrist, neurologist and neuropathologist, in 1892 3,4

Clinically, behavior and language changes can mimic other diseases 2:

Article information

rID: 72301
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Frontotemporal dementias
  • Fronto-temporal dementia
  • Frontotemporal dementia (FTD)

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Cases and figures

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