Chapter

Social cognition in frontotemporal dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Sharon Abrahams and Christopher Kipps

in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and the Frontotemporal Dementias

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199590674
Published online November 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191753466 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780199590674.003.0008
Social cognition in frontotemporal dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

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In conclusion, there is now growing evidence of dysfunction in emotional and social cognition in ALS, which appears parallel to that found in FTD. However, it remains unclear whether these deficits represent more orbitomedial dysfunction as found in bvFTD. The involvement of executive dysfunction in this presentation is contentious, but similar issues are prevalent within the FTD literature. The profile of impairment in ALS resembles that found in FTD and hence appears supportive of a subclinical syndrome in a significant proportion of ALS cases.

These studies have implications for the everyday care for a distinct subset of patients with ALS. The findings predict potential difficulties in social interaction with those around them, with problems using social cues to guide behaviour and understand the emotions and intentions of others. Patients with ALS may have difficulty in attributing to others a mental state that differs from their own. This may manifest as an egocentric perspective, and a lack of concern for partners’ views and feelings. Clinicians should be directing appropriate strategies to educate those involved in the direct care of patients with ALS.

Chapter.  7914 words. 

Subjects: Neurology

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