Diagnostic Criteria for Behavioural Variant Frontotemporal Dementia

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a neurodegenerative disorder mainly affecting the frontal and/or temporal lobes, leading to dementia with prominent behavioural and/or language disturbances. Symptom onset is most often between 45 and 65 years.

In September 2011, the International Behavioural Variant Frontotemporal Dementia Criteria Consortium established a new set of clinical diagnostic criteria for the behavioural variant of frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD). The new diagnostic criteria have a sensitivity of 76 % for probable bvFTD and a sensitivity of 86 % for possible bvFTD.

New Diagnostic Criteria for the Behavioural Variant of Frontotemporal Dementia

Diagnostic Criteria for Behavioural Variant Frontotemporal Dementia

I. Neurodegenerative Disease
The following symptom must be present to meet criteria for bvFTD:
A. Shows progressive deterioration of behaviour and/or cognition by observation or history (as provided by a knowledgeable informant)

II. Possible bvFTD
Three of the following behavioural/cognitive symptoms (A–F) must be present to meet criteria. Ascertainment requires that symptoms be persistent or recurrent, rather than single or rare events
A. Early behavioural disinhibition [one of the following symptoms (A.1–A.3) must be present]:
A.1. Socially inappropriate behaviour
A.2. Loss of manners or decorum
A.3. Impulsive, rash or careless actions
B. Early apathy or inertia [one of the following symptoms (B.1–B.2) must be present]:
B.1. Apathy
B.2. Inertia
C. Early loss of sympathy or empathy [one of the following symptoms (C.1–C.2) must be present]:
C.1. Diminished response to other people’s needs and feelings
C.2. Diminished social interest, interrelatedness or personal warmth
D. Early perseverative, stereotyped or compulsive/ritualistic behaviour [one of the following symptoms (D.1–D.3) must be present]:
D.1. Simple repetitive movements
D.2. Complex, compulsive or ritualistic behaviours
D.3. Stereotypy of speech
E. Hyperorality and dietary changes [one of the following symptoms (E.1–E.3) must be present]:
E.1. Altered food preferences
E.2. Binge eating, increased consumption of alcohol or cigarettes
E.3. Oral exploration or consumption of inedible objects
F. Neuropsychological profile: executive/generation deficits with relative sparing of memory and visuospatial functions [all of the following symptoms (F.1–F.3) must be present]:
F.1. Deficits in executive tasks
F.2. Relative sparing of episodic memory
F.3. Relative sparing of visuospatial skills

III. Probable bvFTD
All of the following symptoms (A–C) must be present to meet criteria:
A. Meets criteria for possible bvFTD
B. Exhibits significant functional decline (by caregiver report or as evidenced by Clinical Dementia Rating Scale or Functional Activities Questionnaire scores)
C. Imaging results consistent with bvFTD [one of the following (C.1–C.2) must be present]:
C.1. Frontal and/or anterior temporal atrophy on MRI or CT
C.2. Frontal and/or anterior temporal hypoperfusion or hypometabolism on PET or SPECT

IV. bvFTD with Definite FTLD Pathology
Criterion A and either criterion B or C must be present to meet criteria.
A. Meets criteria for possible or probable bvFTD
B. Histopathological evidence of FTLD on biopsy or at post mortem
C. Presence of a known pathogenic mutation

V. Exclusionary Criteria for bvFTD
Criteria A and B must be answered negatively for any bvFTD diagnosis. Criterion C can be positive for possible bvFTD but must be negative for probable bvFTD.
A. Pattern of deficits is better accounted for by other non-degenerative nervous system or medical disorders
B. Behavioural disturbance is better accounted for by a psychiatric diagnosis
C. Biomarkers strongly indicative of Alzheimer’s disease or other neurodegenerative process

bvFTD = behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia; CT = computed tomography; FTLD = frontotemporal lobar degeneration; MRI = magnetic resonance imaging; PET = positron emission tomography; SPECT = single-photon emission computed tomography

 

References:

  1. Johnen A, Bertoux M. Psychological and Cognitive Markers of Behavioral Variant Frontotemporal Dementia-A Clinical Neuropsychologist’s View on Diagnostic Criteria and Beyond. Front Neurol. 2019 Jun 7;10:594. [Medline]
  2. Rascovsky K, Hodges JR, Knopman D, Mendez MF, Kramer JH, Neuhaus J, van Swieten JC, Seelaar H, Dopper EG, Onyike CU, Hillis AE, Josephs KA, Boeve BF, Kertesz A, Seeley WW, Rankin KP, Johnson JK, Gorno-Tempini ML, Rosen H, Prioleau-Latham CE, Lee A, Kipps CM, Lillo P, Piguet O, Rohrer JD, Rossor MN, Warren JD, Fox NC, Galasko D, Salmon DP, Black SE, Mesulam M, Weintraub S, Dickerson BC, Diehl-Schmid J, Pasquier F, Deramecourt V, Lebert F, Pijnenburg Y, Chow TW, Manes F, Grafman J, Cappa SF, Freedman M, Grossman M, Miller BL. Sensitivity of revised diagnostic criteria for the behavioural variant of frontotemporal dementia. Brain. 2011 Sep;134(Pt 9):2456-77. [Medline]
  3. Chare L, Hodges JR, Leyton CE, McGinley C, Tan RH, Kril JJ, Halliday GM. New criteria for frontotemporal dementia syndromes: clinical and pathological diagnostic implications. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2014 Aug;85(8):865-70. [Medline]

 

Created Jul 17, 2019.

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