Prospective evaluation of behavioral scales in the behavioral variant of frontotemporal dementia

Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2012;34(2):75-82. doi: 10.1159/000341784. Epub 2012 Aug 23.


Background: The Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) and the Frontal Behavioral Inventory (FBI) are widely used in patients with the behavioral variant of frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD). Yet, few data are available on the long-term relevance of these scales.

Material and methods: Based on a bvFTD population that participated in the Memantine Clinical Trial (NCT00200538), we studied the evolution and correlation between scores obtained on behavioral scales (NPI and FBI), cognitive scales [Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and Mattis Dementia Rating Scale (MDRS)] and a burden scale [Zarit Burden Inventory (ZBI)]. The assessments were performed at 1 year in 41 patients and at 2 years in 23 patients who agreed to participate in this open-label study.

Results: The 2-year scores obtained on the FBI were significantly higher than the scores at inclusion while those obtained on the NPI did not change. There were significant correlations between the FBI, and the MDRS and MMSE, especially regarding the negative items. The ZBI correlated with behavioral scales at all stages for positive items.

Conclusions: This study based on a large population shows that the FBI is a better tool than the NPI for the long-term assessment of bvFTD patients. Moreover, the FBI allows a distinction to be made between behavioral disturbances that involve cognitive functions from those which have an important impact on caregiver burden.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Frontotemporal Dementia / diagnosis*
  • Frontotemporal Dementia / physiopathology
  • Frontotemporal Dementia / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests / statistics & numerical data
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychometrics / instrumentation
  • Severity of Illness Index

Associated data