Frontal lobe degeneration: clinical, neuropsychological, and SPECT characteristics.

The clinical, neuropsychological, and cerebral blood flow characteristics of eight patients with frontal lobe degeneration (FLD) were studied. Social withdrawal and behavioral disinhibition were the earliest and most common clinical presentations, and psychiatric symptoms typically preceded the onset of dementia by several years. Neuropsychological testing showed selective impairment of frontal and memory tasks with relative sparing of attention, language, and visuospatial skills. Single-photon emission computerized tomography demonstrated frontal and temporal hypoperfusion with relative sparing of parietal and occipital blood flow. Previous studies suggest that the neuropathologic findings in patients with FLD are varied; some demonstrate frontal gliosis, neuronal loss, and Pick bodies while others show only gliosis and neuronal loss.