A comparison of clinical features in early- and late-onset primary degenerative dementia. One entity or two?

Arch Neurol. 1983 Mar;40(3):143-6. doi: 10.1001/archneur.1983.04050030037006.


The prevalence of a number of clinical features occurring in patients with early- (before age 65) and late-onset primary degenerative dementia of the Alzheimer type (PDDAT) are compared. The data from a total of 65 patients demonstrated a greater prevalence of language disturbance, a disproportionate number of left-handers, and a much shorter relative survival time in the early-onset group. Taken together with other data, these findings indicate a degree of heterogeneity in the clinical features of patients with PDDAT and suggest a possible heightened selective vulnerability of the left hemisphere in early-onset cases. We interpret the data as raising the possibility that the current view of PDDAT as a unitary disorder may not be entirely valid.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Dementia / diagnosis*
  • Dementia / pathology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Dominance, Cerebral
  • Functional Laterality
  • Humans
  • Language Disorders / diagnosis
  • Language Disorders / pathology