Frontotemporal Dementia: Therapeutic InterventionsMendez M.F.
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and Neurobehavior V.A. Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Los Angeles, Calif., USA
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The management of frontotemporal dementia (FTD), a disorder characterized by varied behavioralsymptoms, primarily involves the use of psychoactive medications. Although there are no approvedtreatments for the disorder, selective serontonin receptor inhibitors, such as sertraline, paroxetine, orfluoxetine, can decrease disinhibition-impulsivity, repetitive behaviors, and eating disorders in FTD.Low doses of trazodone or an atypical antipsychotic such as aripriprazole can also help manage significantlydisturbed or agitated behavior. The acetylcholinesterase inhibitors used for patients withAlzheimer’s disease have not had significant efficacy for patients with FTD, but memantine, anotherdementia medication, is under investigation for the treatment of this disorder. In addition to drugtherapy, the nonpharmacological management of patients with FTD focuses on education, behavioralinterventions, and care of the caregivers. Most recently, investigators have initiated steps towardrational drug therapy with the development of outcome measures for clinical drug trials in FTD andthe characterization of treatment targets such tau protein or the TAR DNA-binding protein 43. Thisapproach holds great promise for an eventual treatment for this devastating early-onset dementia.
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