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Original Research

Relationship Between Sporadic Behavioral Variant Frontotemporal Dementia and Primary Psychiatric Disorders: A Study in Families

Siham Icho, MDa,b,*; Nicole Korten, PhDc; Lianne Reus, MD, PhDa; Thijs Belderok, MDa,d; Welmoed Krudop, MD, PhDa,e; Flora Gossink, MD, PhDc,f; Fred van Ruissen, MD, PhDg; Petra Cohn-Hokke, MD, PhDh; Ricardo Feller, MDi; John van Swieten, MD, PhDj; Annemiek Dols, MD, PhDc; and Yolande Pijnenburg, MD, PhDa

Published: November 2, 2022


Background: Because the behavioral variant of frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) shows major clinical overlap with primary psychiatric disorders (PPD) that affect similar neuroanatomical circuits, a common genetic vulnerability between FTD and PPD was hypothesized.

Aims: We studied whether PPD are more prevalent in families of patients with sporadic frontotemporal dementia compared with healthy controls (HC), subjects with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and individuals with bipolar disorder (BD).

Methods: In this case-control study performed between January 2013 and February 2019, we investigated the first-degree family history concerning depression, psychosis (including schizophrenia), BD, and autism spectrum disorder for 73 bvFTD patients, 153 patients with BD, 108 patients with AD, and 101 HC with a semistructured questionnaire (QFTD-NL 1.0) according to DSM-IV, DSM-5, or ICD-10 criteria.

Results: Patients with bvFTD had a 2.58-fold higher odds of having a first-degree family member with depression compared to HC (P = .04). Furthermore, they showed 3.26-fold higher odds of having a first-degree relative with psychosis compared to HC (P = .09).

Conclusions: Our results implicate a link between dementia, including sporadic bvFTD, and depression. Further study into the genetic overlap between bvFTD and PPD might provide clues to targeting common disease mechanisms.

Volume: 83

Quick Links: Autism Spectrum Disorders , Bipolar Disorder , Dementia , Depression (MDD) , Psychotic Disorders

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