Neuropsychological assessment and differential diagnosis in young-onset dementias

Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2015 Jun;38(2):265-79. doi: 10.1016/j.psc.2015.01.003. Epub 2015 Mar 7.


Although Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia in the elderly, there are several conditions (ie, frontotemporal dementia or Huntington's disease) associated with a relatively earlier onset. This article provides arguments in favor of a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment in the differential diagnosis of young-onset dementia, as episodic memory impairment is not observed early in the course of most types of young-onset dementia that predominantly affect the domains of behavior, executive, language, and/or motor function.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; Frontotemporal dementia; Posterior cortical atrophy; Primary progressive aphasia; Progressive supranuclear palsy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age of Onset
  • Alzheimer Disease* / complications
  • Alzheimer Disease* / diagnosis
  • Aphasia, Primary Progressive / diagnosis
  • Aphasia, Primary Progressive / etiology*
  • Atrophy
  • Cerebral Cortex / pathology*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Frontotemporal Dementia* / complications
  • Frontotemporal Dementia* / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Supranuclear Palsy, Progressive / diagnosis
  • Supranuclear Palsy, Progressive / etiology*