Background: Frontotemporal dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis are neurodegenerative diseases associated with TAR DNA-binding protein 43- and ubiquitin-immunoreactive pathologic lesions. Objective: To determine whether survival is influenced by symptom of onset in patients with frontotemporal dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Design, Setting, and Patients: Retrospective review of patients with both cognitive impairment and motor neuron disease consecutively evaluated at 4 academic medical centers in 2 countries. Main Outcome Measures: Clinical phenotypes and survival patterns of patients. Results: A total of 87 patients were identified, including 60 who developed cognitive symptoms first, 19 who developed motor symptoms first, and 8 who had simultaneous onset of cognitive and motor symptoms. Among the 59 deceased patients, we identified 2 distinct subgroups of patients according to survival. Long-term survivors had cognitive onset and delayed emergence of motor symptoms after a long monosymptomatic phase and had significantly longer survival than the typical survivors (mean, 67.5 months vs 28.2 months, respectively; P<.001). Typical survivors can have simultaneous or discrete onset of cognitive and motor symptoms, and the simultaneous-onset patients had shorter survival (mean, 19.2 months) than those with distinct cognitive or motor onset (mean, 28.6 months) (P=.005). Conclusions: Distinct patterns of survival profiles exist in patients with frontotemporal dementia and motor neuron disease, and overall survival may depend on the relative timing of the emergence of secondary symptoms.

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Journal Archives of Neurology
Hu, W.T, Seelaar, H, Josephs, K.A, Knopman, D.S, Boeve, B.F, Sorenson, E.J, … Grossman, M. (2009). Survival profiles of patients with frontotemporal dementia and motor neuron disease. Archives of Neurology, 66(11), 1359–1364. doi:10.1001/archneurol.2009.253