Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord 2007;24:317–326

Clusters of Cognitive and Behavioral Disorders Clearly Distinguish Primary Progressive Aphasia from Frontal Lobe Dementia, and Alzheimer’s Disease

Marra C.a · Quaranta D.a · Zinno M.a · Misciagna S.b · Bizzarro A.a · Masullo C.a · Daniele A.a · Gainotti G.a
aNeuropsychology Service of the Catholic University of Rome, Policlinico Gemelli, and bFondazione ‘Don Carlo Gnocchi’, Rome, Italy
email Corresponding Author

 goto top of outline Key Words

  • Frontotemporal dementia
  • Behavioral psychiatric symptoms of dementia
  • Neuropsychological assessment
  • Progressive aphasia

 goto top of outline Abstract

Background/Aims: Frontal lobe dementia (FLD) and primary nonfluent progressive aphasia (PnPA) are two forms of frontotemporal lobe degeneration. The relationship between these conditions remains unclear. Our study aimed to better define the behavioral and cognitive clusters characterizing PnPA patients. Methods: We cognitively and behaviorally evaluated three groups of newly diagnosed patients affected by Alzheimer’s disease (AD, n = 20), FLD (n = 22) and PnPA (n = 10), in order to assess the cognitive-behavioral pattern of PnPA, compared to both FLD and AD. Results: We found, as expected, worse performances in episodic memory in AD, of both the verbal fluency and naming tasks in PnPA, while FLD mainly showed behavioral disorders associated with an unremarkable deficit in the executive tasks. PnPA was not characterized by any significant behavioral disorders. Factor analysis-extracted three main factors (‘mnesic’, ‘behavioral’ and ‘linguistic’) clearly correlated to each group. A discriminant analysis based on the extracted factors correctly classified 84.6% of all patients. Conclusion: The evidence of a characteristics cognitive profile, without any significant behavioral changes, highlights that PnPA is different from other forms of frontotemporal lobe degeneration regarding both the cognitive and behavioral patterns; thus, it should be considered independently in further studies.

Copyright © 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel

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 goto top of outline Author Contacts

Dr. Camillo Marra
Servizio di Neuropsicologia, Università Cattolica/Policlinico Gemelli
Largo A. Gemelli, 8
IT–00168 Roma (Italy)
Tel. +39 06 3015 4333, Fax +39 06 3550 1909, E-Mail

 goto top of outline Article Information

Accepted: July 12, 2007
Published online: September 12, 2007
Number of Print Pages : 10
Number of Figures : 0, Number of Tables : 5, Number of References : 49

 goto top of outline Publication Details

Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders

Vol. 24, No. 5, Year 2007 (Cover Date: October 2007)

Journal Editor: Chan-Palay, V. (New York, N.Y.)
ISSN: 1420–8008 (print), 1421–9824 (Online)

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