Saturday, September 30, 2023

Racial Disparities Seen in Presentation of Frontotemporal Dementia

Black individuals exhibit higher frequency of delusions; Asian individuals have higher frequency of apathy

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Sept. 14, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Racial disparities can be seen in dementia severity, functional impairment, and neuropsychiatric symptoms among patients with frontotemporal dementia (FTD), according to a study published online Sept. 11 in JAMA Neurology.

Hannah A. Jin, from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues examined racial disparities in dementia severity, functional impairment, and neuropsychiatric symptoms in 2,478 individuals with a diagnosis of FTD (2.4 percent Asian, 2.5 percent Black, and 95.1 percent White) in an exploratory cross-sectional study of National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center (NACC) data.

The researchers found that Black individuals had a higher degree of dementia severity on the Clinical Dementia Rating Dementia Staging Instrument plus NACC Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration Behavior & Language Domains (FTLD-CDR) and FTLD-CDR sum of boxes as well as greater functional impairment. Between Asian and White individuals, there were no differences noted on FTLD-CDR or the Functional Assessment Scale. A significantly higher frequency of delusions, agitation, and depression was exhibited by Black individuals. Compared with White individuals, Asian individuals exhibited a significantly higher frequency of apathy, nighttime behaviors, and appetite/eating.

“We observed that racial differences in neuropsychiatric symptoms from FTD differ from the observed pattern in the healthy controls suggesting that the neuropsychiatric symptom profile observed in Asian and Black individuals is specific to FTD,” the authors write.

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