A very light lunch: Interoceptive deficits and food aversion at onset in a case of behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia

Gerardo Salvato, Matteo Mercurio, Maurizio Sberna, Eraldo Paulesu, Gabriella Bottini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Patients affected by the behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) frequently experience, at a delayed onset, abnormal eating behavior involving increased food intake. Although delusional food-related symptoms have attracted much attention, the behavioral and neural features of food aversion manifestations in bvFTD remain poorly documented. Methods: We describe the rare case of a patient with bvFTD presenting with lack of interoception for swallowing and digestion, coupled with a dramatic food aversion at onset. We also compared his MRI scan to 84 healthy individuals using a voxel-based morphometry approach. Results: We found gray matter density reductions involving the postcentral gyrus bilaterally, insulae, and right medial orbitofrontal cortex. Discussion: Our results shed new light on the behavioral and neuroanatomical features of food aversion and interoception deficits in bvFTD, suggesting that besides orbitofrontal cortex, also a distributed system associated with interoception might play a role in such behavioral manifestation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)750-754
Number of pages5
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment and Disease Monitoring
Volume10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018

Keywords

  • Behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia
  • Eating disturbances
  • Insula
  • Interoception
  • Voxel-based morphometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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