The Mini-Mental State Examination in Behavioral Variant Frontotemporal Dementia and Primary Progressive Aphasia
There is little information regarding the usefulness of the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) for tracking progression of non-Alzheimer’s disease dementias. This study examined the utility of the MMSE in capturing disease severity in the behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) and primary progressive aphasia (PPA), 2 nonamnestic clinical dementia syndromes. Retrospective data from 41 bvFTD and 30 PPA patients were analyzed. bvFTD patients’ change in MMSE scores over time was significantly correlated with change over time on a measure of activities of daily living. In contrast, PPA patients’ MMSE scores showed greater decline over time than scores on the activities of daily living scale. Results suggest that the MMSE score, heavily dependent on language skill, overestimates dementia severity in PPA patients. However, the score may be a more accurate measure of functional impairment in bvFTD due to the influence of their executive function and attentional deficits on MMSE performance.