What: Brain Imaging Series Lecture
When: October 11, 2010 3:00-4:00pm
Who: Free, Open to the public
Where: Coon Building, room 250
Director, Institute of Neurosciences – Favaloro University
Professor of Neurology and Cognitive Neuroscience.
Favaloro University. Buenos Aires. Argentina
Director, Institute of Cognitive Neurology (INECO)
President. Federation of Neurology Research Group on Aphasia and Cognitive Disorders (RGACD)
Title: Neuropsychological Approach to Early Behavioral Variant Frontotemporal Dementia
Abstract: From a clinician’s perspective, it can very frustrating to evaluate a patient with a convincing history of executive and social cognition deficits, particularly as described by family members, and yet, observe minimally impaired or within normal performance on formal neuropsychological testing using the standard measures. The family shares this frustration, as they are keenly aware that something is wrong, yet no ‘objective’ evidence of impairment can be found on comprehensive assessments. Especially in cases of very early behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), patients may be misleadingly diagnosed as having primary psychiatric disorder, or malingering, or the family would be suspected of distorting the facts for some other gain. For this reason, being able to enhance traditional cognitive assessment batteries with the addition of more ‘comprehensive’ tests of complex executive-social functioning is important. In this presentation, we will discuss the way in which these more ‘ecological’ tests can mimic real life demands more reliably, and thus, increase sensitivity for the detection of executive and social cognitive impairment in patients with early bvFTD. We will also delve into how these tests can prove useful in determining patients’ competency, since early bvFTD patients present unique legal and ethical problems and current regulation does not necessarily apply to this patient population, since legal aspects of dementia are based primarily on Alzheimer disease.