The term frontotemporal dementia (FTD) describes a clinically, genetically and pathologically diverse group of neurodegenerative disorders. Symptoms of FTD can present in individuals in their 20s through to their 90s, but the mean age at onset is in the sixth decade. The most common presentation is with a change in personality and impaired social conduct (behavioural variant FTD). Less frequently patients present with language problems (primary progressive aphasia). Both of these groups of patients can develop motor features consistent with either motor neuron disease (usually the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis variant) or parkinsonism (most commonly a progressive supranuclear palsy or corticobasal syndrome). In about a third of cases FTD is familial, with mutations in the progranulin, microtubule-associated protein tau and chromosome 9 open reading frame 72 genes being the major causes. Mutations in a number of other genes including TANK-binding kinase 1 are rare causes of familial FTD. This review aims to clarify the often confusing terminology of FTD, and outline the various clinical features and diagnostic criteria of sporadic and familial FTD syndromes. It will also discuss the current major challenges in FTD research and clinical practice, and potential areas for future research. This review clarifies the terminology of frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and summarizes the various clinical features and most recent diagnostic criteria of sporadic and familial FTD syndromes. It also discusses the current major challenges in FTD research and clinical practice, and highlights potential areas for future research.
Keywords: C9ORF72; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; frontotemporal dementia; progranulin; tau.
© 2016 International Society for Neurochemistry.