Clinical and biological phenotypes of frontotemporal dementia: Perspectives for disease modifying therapies

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Abstract

Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) is a progressive neurodegenerative condition which encompasses a group of clinically, neuropathologically and genetically heterogeneous disorders characterized by selective involvement of the frontal and temporal lobes. FTD is characterized by changes in behaviour and personality, frontal executive deficits and language dysfunction. Different phenotypes have been defined on the basis of presenting clinical symptoms, behavioural variants of FTD (bvFTD) and primary progressive aphasia (PPA), which includes nonfluent/agrammatic variant PPA (avPPA) and semantic variant PPA (svPPA). These presentations can overlap with atypical parkinsonian disorders (i.e., corticobasal syndrome, progressive supranuclear palsy) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Each syndrome can be associated with one or more neuropathological hallmark, and in some cases it may be due to autosomal inherited disorder caused by mutations in a number of genes.

Currently, there is no specific treatment available to prevent disease progression. FTD treatment is based on symptomatic management, and most therapies lack quality evidence from randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials. Recent advances in the understanding of FTD pathophysiology and genetics have led to the development of potentially disease-modifying therapies.

In this review, we discussed current knowledge and recommendations with regards to symptomatic and disease-modifying therapies.

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