Objectives : To investigate the severity of subcortical atrophy in frontotemporal dementia (FTD) without extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS) and dementia with EPS. In addition, we aim to verify if there is correlation between demographic and clinical characteristics and subcortical atrophy in the groups. Methodology : The sample was composed of 21 patients with dementia and EPS as well as 19 patients with FTD without EPS. A linear assessment was conducted in order to identify the degree of subcortical atrophy (i.e., bifrontal index - BFI) using MRI. Moreover, the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Pfeffer Functional Activities Questionnaire (FAQ) and the Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) were used to investigate clinical aspects. Results : It was verified that patients with dementia and EPS was older than the patients with FTD (p=0.01). The severity of cognitive deficits was associated with BFI, as well as the dementia severity in the EPS group. Conclusion : FTD group presented mean BFI scores above the cutoff for normal elderly population, indicating the presence of subcortical atrophy in this group. Mean BFI was higher (although not statistically significant) in FTD group than in dementia with EPS, which can suggest at least that subcortical pathology in FTD may be as important as in the dementia with EPS group. Subcortical atrophy is a good biological marker for cognitive deterioration in FTD and in dementia with EPS.

Keywords: Bifrontal index, extrapyramidal signs, frontotemporal dementia, structural neuroimaging, subcortical atrophy. .
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