Neuropsychiatric symptoms in behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer's disease: A 12-month follow-up study

Thais Bento Lima Da Silva, Tiago Nascimento Ordonez, Allan Gustavo Bregola, Valéria Santoro Bahia, Mário Amore Cecchini, Henrique Cerqueira Guimarães, Leandro Boson Gambogi, Paulo Caramelli, Marcio Luiz Figueredo Balthazar, Benito Pereira Damasceno, Sonia Maria Dozzi Brucki, Leonardo Cruz De Souza, Ricardo Nitrini, Monica Sanches Yassuda

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Introduction: Neuropsychiatric symptoms in patients with frontotemporal dementia (FTD) are highly prevalent and may complicate clinical managements. Objective: To test whether the Neuropsychiatry Inventory (NPI) could detect change in neuropsychiatric symptoms and caregiver's distress in patients diagnosed with behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) from baseline to a 12-month follow-up and to investigate possible predictors of change in NPI scores. 

Methods: The sample consisted of 31 patients diagnosed with bvFTD and 28 patients with AD and their caregivers. The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination Revised (ACE-R), the INECO Frontal Screening (IFS), the Frontal Assessment Battery (FAB), the Executive Interview (EXIT-25) and the NPI were applied. Descriptive statistics, Mann-Whitney U test, Wilcoxon test, Chi square (χ 2) test and Linear Regression Analysis were used. 

Results: NPI total and caregiver distress scores were statistically higher among bvFTD patients at both assessment points. MMSE, ACE-R scores significantly declined and NPI Total and Distress scores significantly increased in both groups. In the bvFTD group, age was the only independent predictor variable for the NPI total score at follow up. In the AD group, ACE-R and EXIT-25, conjunctively, were associated with the NPI total score at follow up. 

Conclusions: In 12 months, cognition declined and neuropsychiatric symptoms increased in bvFTD and AD groups. In the AD group only, cognitive impairment was a significant predictor of change in neuropsychiatric symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number728108
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2021


  • Alzheimer's disease (AD)
  • aging
  • behavioral dementia frontotemporal (bvFTD)
  • elderly
  • neuropsychiatric symptoms

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