Behavioral Variant Frontotemporal Dementia

John C. Morris, Bradley F. Boeve

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


PURPOSE OF REVIEW This article reviews many of the complex facets of behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). A particular focus is on improving diagnostic accuracy to reduce the arduous diagnostic odyssey that so many patients and families endure. Strategies to promote diagnostic accuracy and approach the management of problematic symptoms are also discussed. RECENT FINDINGS Although the International Consensus Criteria for bvFTD were published more than a decade ago and clinicopathologic studies have confirmed their utility, diagnostic confusion continues. This article presents updated data along with illustrative cases to emphasize the clinical pearls that are most useful for clinicians. Although accurate prediction of the underlying proteinopathy remains a challenge, the ability to differentiate bvFTD from atypical Alzheimer disease, psychiatric disorders, and other mimickers has improved. Knowledge about the genetic underpinnings in a significant minority of individuals with familial FTLD is enabling early and accurate diagnosis. Therapeutic optimism has also increased, particularly in familial FTLD, with a few clinical trials in progress and several more planned, some of which are designed to slow progression or delay the onset of symptoms, or both. SUMMARY The diagnosis and management of bvFTD is challenging for clinicians and particularly for patients and their families. Although much progress has been gained over recent years, several key research questions persist. Treatments that significantly improve symptoms or alter the course of FTLD remain elusive, but optimism is increasing as pathobiology is better understood and novel therapies are being developed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)702-725
Number of pages24
JournalCONTINUUM Lifelong Learning in Neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Genetics(clinical)


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