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Date of Award

Spring 4-23-2018

Degree Type

Dissertation (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Committee Chair

Michael Daniel, PhD

Abstract

The aim of this study was to determine if there are differences in neuropsychological test performance for behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) patients with and without psychotic symptoms. Patients with a diagnosis of bvFTD (N = 1004) at any visit were selected from the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center database and included in the study. Raw neuropsychological test scores were compared for patients with bvFTD across four groups: patients with hallucinations only (n = 35); patients with delusions only (n = 116); patients with both hallucinations and delusions (n = 48); and patients with neither hallucinations, nor delusions (n = 805). Presence or absence of psychosis was determined on the basis of responses to the Neuropsychiatric Inventory Questionnaire. A higher proportion of patients who experienced both hallucinations and delusions had below normal scores on the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) compared to patients with neither. No significant differences were found for other neuropsychological tests of attention, verbal memory and language. The absence of significant findings for most neuropsychological measures included in this study suggests that neuropsychological test performance does not distinguish the presence or absence of psychosis in bvFTD patients.

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