Objective: To utilize the diagnostic criteria of frontal lobe dementia (FLD).
Methods: We studied 12 patients with FLD diagnosed clinically, with radiological confirmation in 10 and autopsy confirmation in 2; sixteen patients with Alzheimer's disease matched for stage and severity to FLD and 11 patients with depressive dementia were used as control groups. A 24-item Frontal Behavioral Inventory (FBI) using the most relevant behavioral manifestations of FLD was administered in these populations.
Results: FLD patient scores on the FBI were much higher compared with control groups (AD and DD). Item analysis showed loss of insight, indifference, distractibility, personal neglect and apathy as the most frequent negative symptoms. Perseveration, disinhibition, inappropriateness, impulsivity, and irresponsibility were the most significant positive symptoms. An operational definition of FLD included a minimum FBI score of 27. Only one false positive was shown in the depressive group and none among the AD group, indicating little overlap between patient groups, and a high discriminating value of the FBI.
Conclusions: The FBI appears to be a useful diagnostic instrument and a method to operate the behavioral criteria of FLD. Further prospective studies are warranted to establish validity.