What is it about?

Social cognition, which can be considered the ability to understand others point of view, read social cues and empathise has been found to be particularly impaired in people with behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) and have an impact on their observed abnormal behaviour. However, using social cognition as a distinct marker for diagnosing bvFTD is still challenging due to the complex nature of the disease and its similarity to other forms of dementia. This article provides an overview on how the accumulation of different proteins, named TDP-43 and tau, which can both independently cause bvFTD, can result in differences in aspects of social cognition and other cognitive and behavioural symptoms seen across individuals.

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Why is it important?

BvFTD is currently difficult to diagnose and rare. It is a rapidly progressing disease, for which no treatment currently exists. The identification of distinct cognitive markers and their relation to the underlying pathology is indispensable for the validation of other biomarkers, as well as for clinical trials of novel therapies. By providing a better understanding of this complex condition, the article encourages future research to foster progress in diagnosis, treatment, and care for affected individuals.


With this article I hope to shed light on the specific connections between pathology and cognition/behaviour in bvFTD, addressing a crucial area that has been insufficiently explored.

Roxane Dilcher

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Social Cognition in Behavioral Variant Frontotemporal Dementia and Pathological Subtypes: A Narrative Review, Journal of Alzheimer s Disease, June 2023, IOS Press, DOI: 10.3233/jad-221171.
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