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Cognitive tests of inhibitory control show variable results for the differential diagnosis between behavioural variant of Frontotemporal Dementia (bvFTD) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We compared the diagnostic accuracies of tests of inhibitory control and of a behavioural questionnaire, to distinguish bvFTD from AD.
Three groups of participants were enrolled: 27 bvFTD patients, 25 AD patients, and 24 healthy controls. Groups were matched for gender, education, and socio-economic level. Participants underwent a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment of inhibitory control, including Hayling Test, Stroop, the Five Digits Test (FDT) and the Delay Discounting Task (DDT). Caregivers completed the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale 11th version (BIS-11).
bvFTD and AD groups showed no difference in the tasks of inhibitory control, while the caregiver questionnaire revealed that bvFTD patients were significantly more impulsive (BIS-11: bvFTD 76.1+9.5, AD 62.9+13, p < .001).
Neuropsychological tests of inhibitory control failed to distinguish bvFTD from AD. On the contrary, impulsivity caregiver-completed questionnaire provided good distinction between bvFTD and AD. These results highlight the current limits of cognitive measures of inhibitory control for the differential diagnosis between bvFTD and AD, whereas questionnaire information appears more reliable and in line with clinical diagnostics.