So Close Yet So Far: Executive contribution to memory processing in behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia

Bertoux, Maxime, Ramanan, Siddharth, Slachevsky, Andrea, Wong, Stephanie, Henriquez, Fernando, Musa, Gada, Delgado, Carolina, Flanagan, Emma, Bottlaender, Michel, Sarazin, Marie, Hornberger, Michael ORCID: and Dubois, Bruno (2016) So Close Yet So Far: Executive contribution to memory processing in behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 54 (3). pp. 1005-1014. ISSN 1387-2877

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Background: Memory impairment in behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) is traditionally considered to be mild and attributed to prefrontal cortex dysfunction. Recent studies, however, indicated that some patients can present with a memory impairment of the hippocampal type, showing storage and consolidation deficits in addition to the more executive/prefrontal related encoding and strategic difficulties. Objective: This study aimed to study the relationship between executive functions (EF) and memory processes in bvFTD via a data-driven approach. Method: Participants consisted of 71 bvFTD (among which 60.6% had a lumbar puncture showing non-Alzheimer biomarker profile) and 60 controls (among which 45% had amyloid imaging showing a normal profile). EF were assessed by the Frontal Assessment Battery, semantic/lexical verbal fluency tests, and forward/backward digit spans. Patients were split into amnestic (n = 33) and non-amnestic (n = 38) subgroups based on normative data (total recall score) from the Free and Cued Selective Reminding Test (FCSRT). Relationships between FCSRT subscores and EF measures were explored through hierarchical clustering analysis, partial correlation analysis with an EF component, and automated linear modeling. Results: Convergent findings across the statistical approaches show that, overall, memory performance was independent from EF in bvFTD whereas the relationship was stronger in controls. Indeed, in bvFTD, memory performance did not cluster with EF, was not correlated with the EF component, and was only partially (4% – 12.7%) predicted by EF. Discussion: These findings show that executive dysfunctions cannot solely explain the memory deficits occurring in bvFTD. Indeed, some patients present with a genuine amnesia affecting storage and consolidation abilities, which are independent from executive dysfunctions. On the clinical level, this study highlights the importance of revising the neuropsychological diagnosis criteria for bvFTD.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The final publication is available at IOS Press through
Uncontrolled Keywords: consolidation,encoding,episodic amnesia,executive functions,free and cued selective reminding test,frontotemporal dementia,memory,retrieval,storage
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2016 00:55
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2022 01:33
DOI: 10.3233/JAD-160522

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