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Objective: To compare the differences in cognitive function and behavioral and psychological symptoms between patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD). Methods: Thirty-six AD patients and 20 bvFTD patients at mild-to-moderate stage, who were biomarker-confirmed by positron emission tomography (PET), were assessed with a neuropsychological battery and neuropsychiatry inventory (NPI). Cognitive domains, including memory, language, information processing speed and executive function, and behavioral and psychological symptoms were assessed and compared. Results: AD patients had lower scores in immediate recall, delayed recall and recognition than bvFTD patients (all P<0.05); while bvFTD patients had poorer performance in language and executive function than AD patients (all P<0.05). The NPI total score was significantly higher in patients with bvFTD compared with patients with AD (17.5±5.7 vs 9.3±3.5, P<0.05). In respect to the 12 items of NPI, the incidence of agitation and irritability was higher in AD group than in bvFTD group (72.2% vs 35.0%, 55.6% vs 20.0%, all P<0.05); while the incidence of apathy, disinhibition, euphoria, aberrant motor behavior and appetite/eating was higher in bvFTD group than in AD group (65.0% vs 33.3%, 80.0% vs 5.5%, 70.0% vs 5.6%, 40.0% vs 11.1%, 50.0% vs 5.6%, all P<0.05). Conclusion: Comprehensive neuropsychological assessment and evaluation of behavioral and psychological symptoms of patients with dementia are helpful in distinguishing AD from bvFTD.
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Memory, Cognitive neuroscience, Cognitive science, Cognitive psychology, Alzheimer's disease, Neuropsychology, Psychology, Positron emission tomography
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