Pharmacological Management of Psychiatric Symptoms in Frontotemporal Dementia: A Systematic Review

Massimiliano Buoli, Marta Serati, Alice Caldiroli, Daniela Galimberti, Elio Scarpini, Alfredo Carlo Altamura

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Psychiatric symptoms in patients with frontotemporal dementia (FTD) are highly prevalent and may complicate clinical management of these patients. Purpose of the present article is to present and discuss available data about the pharmacological treatment of psychiatric symptoms in patients with FTD. A research in the main database sources has been conducted to obtain an overview of the pharmacological management of psychiatric symptoms in patients with FTD. The search strategy included the following terms-"FTD and psychiatry," "FTD and behavioural disturbances," and "FTD and treatment". Pathophysiology of psychiatric symptoms in FTD is different from other types of dementia. Although drugs for Alzheimer disease appear to be ineffective for the treatment of psychiatric symptoms of FTD, preliminary evidence supports a possible usefulness of serotonergic antidepressants for these patients. Data are too scanty to draw definitive conclusions, but antidepressant treatment, particularly with serotonergic compounds, may improve psychiatric symptoms in patients with FTD. Large observational studies are needed to confirm this preliminary evidence, and a lot of effort and collaboration between neurologists and psychiatrists will be definitely crucial for future research of effective treatments for FTD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-169
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2017


  • frontotemporal dementia (FTD)
  • pharmacotherapy
  • psychiatric symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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