Clinical Features of Late-onset Semantic Dementia.

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Semantic dementia (SD) is characterized by progressive semantic anomia extending to a multimodal loss of semantic knowledge. Although often considered an early-onset dementia, SD also occurs in later life, when it may be misdiagnosed as Alzheimer disease (AD).To evaluate late-onset SD in comparison to early-onset SD and to AD.We identified 74 individuals with SD and then compared those with late-onset SD (≥65 years of age) to those with early-onset SD (<65) on demographic and clinical features. We also compared a subgroup of 23 of the late-onset SD individuals with an equal number of individuals with clinically probable AD.Twenty-six (35.1%) of the SD individuals were late onset, and 48 (64.9%) were early onset. There were no differences between the two groups on clinical measures, although greater asymmetry of temporal involvement trended to significance in the late-onset SD group. Compared to the 23 AD individuals, the subgroup of 23 late-onset SD individuals had worse performance on confrontational naming, irregular word reading, and face recognition; however, this subgroup displayed better verbal delayed recall and constructions. The late-onset SD individuals also experienced early personality changes at a time when most individuals with AD had not yet developed behavioral changes.Approximately one-third of SD individuals may be late onset, and the differentiation of late-onset SD from AD can lead to better disease management, education, and prognosis. SD may be distinguished by screening for disproportionate changes in reading, face recognition, and personality.


Click here to read the full article @ Cognitive and behavioral neurology : official journal of the Society for Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology
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