A review on shared clinical and molecular mechanisms between bipolar disorder and frontotemporal dementia.


Bipolar Disorder Program (PROMAN), Department of Psychiatry, University of São Paulo Medical School, São Paulo, Brazil. Electronic address: [Email]


Mental disorders are highly prevalent and important causes of medical burden worldwide. Co-occurrence of neurological and psychiatric symptoms are observed among mental disorders, representing a challenge for their differential diagnosis. Psychiatrists and neurologists have faced challenges in diagnosing old adults presenting behavioral changes. This is the case for early frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and bipolar disorder. In its initial stages, FTD is characterized by behavioral or language disturbances in the absence of cognitive symptoms. Consequently, patients with the behavioral subtype of FTD (bv-FTD) can be initially misdiagnosed as having a psychiatric disorder, typically major depression disorder (MDD) or bipolar disorder (BD). Bipolar disorder is associated with a higher risk of dementia in older adults and with cognitive impairment, with a subset of patients presents a neuroprogressive pattern during the disease course. No mendelian mutations were identified in BD, whereas three major genetic causes of FTD have been identified. Clinical similarities between BD and bv-FTD raise the question whether common molecular pathways might explain shared clinical symptoms. Here, we reviewed existing data on clinical and molecular similarities between BD and FTD to propose biological pathways that can be further investigated as common or specific markers of BD and FTD.


Biomarkers,Bipolar disorder,Frontotemporal dementia,Neurodegeneration,Neuropsychiatric symptoms,

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