Behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia in patients with previous severe mental illness: a systematic and critical review
Arquivos de Neuro-Psiquiatria
Objectives: To explore the relationship between severe/serious mental illness (SMI) and the behavioral variant of frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), as the patterns of symptoms and cognitive performance that characterize both disorders share similarities. Methods: We performed a systematic review investigating what has already been published regarding the relationship between bvFTD and SMI. Studies were selected from PubMed and LILACS databases, including those published up to February 12, 2018.
... February 12, 2018. The search strategy included the following terms: "frontotemporal dementia" plus "bipolar", OR "frontotemporal dementia" plus "schizophrenia", OR "frontotemporal dementia" plus "schizoaffective". Publications without abstracts, case reports with absent genetic or histopathological confirmation, reviews and non-English language papers were excluded across the search process. Results: The search on PubMed retrieved 186 articles, of which 42 met eligibility criteria. On the LILACS database, none met the requirements. Generally, three major research aims were identified: 1) to look for frontotemporal lobar degeneration-associated genetic abnormalities in patients with prior SMI; 2) to compare the cognitive profile between patients affected by neurodegenerative disorders and schizophrenic patients; 3) to highlight the association between bvFTD and preceding psychiatric conditions and/or distinguish them both. The investigated mutations were found infrequently in the studied SMI samples. Cross-sectional studies comparing cognitive performance between bvFTD and psychiatric disorders mostly found no remarkable differences. There were only a few case reports identifying definite frontotemporal lobar degeneration in patients with previous psychiatric diagnoses. Conclusions: The available evidence demonstrates how fragile the current understanding is regarding the association between bvFTD and prior SMI.