The Relationship Between Schizophrenia and Frontotemporal Dementia.

1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.
Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology (Impact Factor: 3.53). 06/2013; DOI: 10.1177/0891988713490992
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Schizophrenia is a relatively common disorder diagnosed by the presentation of psychotic symptoms in the absence of identifiable neurologic or other organic cause. Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a relatively rare progressive neurodegenerative disorder that can present with a multitude of cognitive and behavioral symptoms including psychosis. At times, this phenotypic overlap can mean that schizophrenia and FTD are 2 possibilities in the differential diagnosis of a psychotic presentation. In this article, we systematically review the literature on the relationship between schizophrenia and FTD including case reports that highlight the potential for diagnostic confusion, clinical studies examining the relationship between the disorders, and the molecular evidence of shared pathophysiologic mechanisms. Although a relationship between the disorders is not definitively supported by the current literature, we identify the characteristics of a psychotic presentation that should alert the clinician to the possibility of FTD and describe the areas where further research is needed to clarify the pathophysiologic relationship.

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May 21, 2014