Semantic dementia: aspects of the early diagnosis

Rev Neurol (Paris). 2013 Oct;169(10):806-10. doi: 10.1016/j.neurol.2013.07.007. Epub 2013 Sep 12.


Semantic dementia is a lobar atrophy syndrome, related to a degeneration of anterior temporal regions, and characterized by a very predominant impairment of semantic memory. Whereas the diagnosis is relatively easy to establish in the typical form and if the patient is seen early, the emergence of possible additional cognitive or psycho-behavioural disorders can lead to a misdiagnosis in favour of a frontotemporal dementia syndrome or even probable Alzheimer's disease.

Keywords: Démence fronto-temporale; Démence sémantique; Frontotemporal dementia; Mémoire sémantique; Semantic dementia; Semantic memory.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Disease Progression
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Frontotemporal Dementia / complications
  • Frontotemporal Dementia / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / etiology
  • Nerve Degeneration / diagnosis
  • Neuropsychological Tests*
  • Psychometrics / methods