An evidence-based review of the psychopathology of frontotemporal dementia: a report of the ANPA Committee on Research

J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2008 Spring;20(2):130-49. doi: 10.1176/jnp.2008.20.2.130.


The Committee on Research of the American Neuropsychiatric Association conducted a review of the noncognitive neuropsychiatric manifestations of frontotemporal dementia. The Committee on Research searched reviews and several online databases for all pertinent publications. Single case reports without pathology were excluded, except for psychosis, where single cases made up much of the literature. The strongest evidence supports an association of frontotemporal dementia with the following behaviors: apathy-abulia; disinhibition-impulsivity; loss of insight and self-referential behavior; decreased emotion and empathy; violation of social and moral norms; changes in dietary or eating behavior; and repetitive behaviors. Frontotemporal dementia is less frequently associated with anxiety and mood disorders, which may be a prodrome or risk factor, and rarely presents with delusions or hallucinations. The results of this review highlight the distinct neuropsychiatric manifestations of frontotemporal dementia and the need to reconsider the current diagnostic criteria for this disorder.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cognition Disorders
  • Delusions
  • Dementia / complications
  • Dementia / pathology*
  • Dementia / psychology*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • MEDLINE / statistics & numerical data
  • Mental Disorders / etiology
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Psychopathology*