BACKGROUND: Staging scales for dementia have been devised for grading Alzheimer's disease (AD) but do not include the specific symptoms of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD).
OBJECTIVE: To translate and adapt the Frontotemporal Dementia Rating Scale (FTD-FRS) to Brazilian Portuguese.
METHODS: The cross-cultural adaptation process consisted of the following steps: translation, back-translation (prepared by independent translators), discussion with specialists, and development of a final version after minor adjustments. A pilot application was carried out with 12 patients diagnosed with bvFTD and 11 with AD, matched for disease severity (CDR=1.0). The evaluation protocol included: Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination-Revised (ACE-R), Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Executive Interview (EXIT-25), Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI), Frontotemporal Dementia Rating Scale (FTD-FRS) and Clinical Dementia Rating scale (CDR).
RESULTS: The Brazilian version of the FTD-FRS seemed appropriate for use in this country. Preliminary results revealed greater levels of disability in bvFTD than in AD patients (bvFTD: 25% mild, 50% moderate and 25% severe; AD: 36.36% mild, 63.64% moderate). It appears that the CDR underrates disease severity in bvFTD since a relevant proportion of patients rated as having mild dementia (CDR=1.0) in fact had moderate or severe levels of disability according to the FTD-FRS.
CONCLUSION: The Brazilian version of the FTD-FRS seems suitable to aid staging and determining disease progression.