Age Gender and Epidemiology

Unlike many other causes of dementia, FTD often manifests in middle age. The mean age of onset is 55 to 62 years and is significantly lower than the age of onset for AD (Grossman, 2002; Snowden et al., 1996). Most patients with FTD develop the illness between ages 45 and 65 with a range of 21 to 75 years.

Frontotemporal dementia in general and PPA specifically are seen in women as commonly as in men. SD is more common in women (Snowden et al., 1996).

Early clinical population-based studies (Neary et al., 1988) estimated that FTD accounts for about 20 percent of all cases of presenile dementia. Stevens et al. (1998) found a prevalence of 1.2 per million population in the 30 to 40-year-old age group and a prevalence 28 per million population in the 60 to 70-year-old age group. These findings show that FTD is not rare but it is much less common than AD.

Patients with SD make up about 15 percent of the FTD population. PPA comprises about 10 percent of the FTD population, and patients with primary progressive apraxia, another variant, account for about 2 percent of the population.

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