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MMSE Scores Decline at a Greater Rate in Frontotemporal Degeneration than in ADChow T.W.a · Hynan L.S.b-d · Lipton A.M.d, e
aRotman Research Institute of Baycrest, University of Toronto Department of Medicine, Division of Neurology and Department of Psychiatry, Division of Geriatric Psychiatry, Toronto, Canada; bUniversity of Texas Southwestern Medical CenterAlzheimer’s Disease Center and Departments of cClinical Sciences, dPsychiatry, and eNeurology, Presbyterian Hospital, Dallas, Tex., USA Corresponding Author
Tiffany Chow, MD
Rotman Research Institute, 3560 Bathurst Street, 8th Floor Posluns Bldg
Toronto M6A 2E1 (Canada)
Tel. +1 416 785 2500/ext. 3459, Fax +1 416 785 2862
The clinical diagnostic criteria for frontotemporal degeneration (FTD) include relative preservation of memory and visuospatial function, in contradistinction to characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) contains items to assess these areas of cognition. In a retrospective case-control study of participants at two institutionally-based AD centers, we determined whether total MMSE and MMSE subscores would reflect the disease progression projected by the clinical criteria of FTD vs. AD. Participants were 44 subjects with FTD (7 pathologically confirmed) and 45 with pathologically confirmed AD. Each subject had at least two MMSEs with minimum inter-test intervals of 9 months. We compared annualized rates of change for total MMSE scores and cognitive domain subscores over time and between groups by two independent samples t-tests and proportion tests. The total MMSE score (p = 0.03) and language subscore (p = 0.02) showed a greater rate of decline for the FTD group than the AD group, although the constructional praxis item declined less rapidly in the FTD group (p = 0.018). Changes in MMSE subscores paralleled the clinical diagnostic criteria for FTD. The more rapid progression on the language subscore was observed in both language and behavioral variants of FTD.
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