Crossing Borders between Frontotemporal Dementia and Psychiatric Disorders: An Updated Overview

Matteo Vismara, Giovanna Cirnigliaro, Eleonora Piccoli, Federica Giorgetti, Laura Molteni, Laura Cremaschi, Giorgio G. Fumagalli, Claudio D'Addario, Bernardo Dell'Osso

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) includes a group of neurocognitive syndromes, clinically characterized by altered behaviors, impairment of language proficiency, and altered executive functioning. FTD is one of the most frequently observed forms of dementia in the elderly population and the most common in presenile age. As for other subtypes of dementia, FTD incidence is constantly on the rise due to the steadily increasing age of the population, and its recognition is now becoming a determinant for clinicians. FTD and psychiatric disorders can overlap in terms of clinical presentations by sharing a common genetic predisposition and neuropathological mechanism in some cases. Nonetheless, this association is often unclear and underestimated. Since its first reports, research into FTD has constantly grown, with the identification of recent findings related to its neuropathology, genetic, clinical, and therapeutic issues. Literature is thriving on this topic, with numerous research articles published in recent years. In the present review, we aimed to provide an updated description of the clinical manifestations that link and potentially confound the diagnosis of FTD and psychiatric disorders in order to improve their differential diagnosis and early detection. In particular, we systematically reviewed the literature, considering articles specifically focused on the behavioral variant FTD, published after 2015 on the PubMed database.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)661-673
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2020


  • Behavioral symptoms
  • bipolar disorder
  • differential diagnosis
  • frontotemporal lobar degeneration
  • frontotemporal lobe dementia
  • genetics
  • neuroimaging
  • psychiatric disorders
  • schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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