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To guide development of public awareness and caregiver support resources for frontotemporal dementia (FTD) syndromes.
We used an online survey to explore their needs. The survey was self-administered by self-identified, English-speaking caregivers for patients with FTD in several countries.
Of 79 caregiver respondents, approximately half were caring for patients with behavioural variant FTD or semantic dementia. The most common initial symptoms were Changes in Thinking and Judgment. Half of the respondents identified “failure to recognize the early stage of illness as a dementia” as the most troublesome aspect. Accordingly, over 40% of respondents had difficulty obtaining an accurate diagnosis for the patient. Caregivers prioritized family counseling and the public educational message that dementia can affect young people.
The largest international survey of FTD caregivers to-date showed that support is needed for all family members adapting to the shock of early-onset dementia, and this may be most readily provided online.
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