Theory of mind impairment in patients with behavioural variant fronto-temporal dementia (bv-FTD) increases caregiver burden

Andrea Brioschi Guevara, Kristine M. Knutson, Eric M. Wassermann, Sarah Pulaski, Jordan Henry Grafman, Frank Krueger*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Theory of mind (ToM), the capacity to infer the intention, beliefs and emotional states of others, is frequently impaired in behavioural variant fronto-temporal dementia patients (bv-FTDp); however, its impact on caregiver burden is unexplored. Setting: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health. Subjects: bv-FTDp (n = 28), a subgroup of their caregivers (n = 20) and healthy controls (n = 32). Methods: we applied a faux-pas (FP) task as a ToM measure in bv-FTDp and healthy controls and the Zarit Burden Interview as a measure of burden in patients' caregivers. Patients underwent structural MRI; we used voxel-based morphometry to examine relationships between regional atrophy and ToM impairment and caregiver burden. Results: FP task performance was impaired in bv-FTDp and negatively associated with caregiver burden. Atrophy was found in areas involved in ToM. Caregiver burden increased with greater atrophy in left lateral premotor cortex, a region associated in animal models with the presence of mirror neurons, possibly involved in empathy. Conclusion: ToM impairment in bv-FTDp is associated with increased caregiver burden.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberafv059
Pages (from-to)891-895
Number of pages5
JournalAge and ageing
Volume44
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015

Fingerprint

Theory of Mind
Caregivers
Dementia
Atrophy
Mirror Neurons
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
National Institutes of Health (U.S.)
Motor Cortex
Task Performance and Analysis
Animal Models
Interviews

Keywords

  • Caregiver burden
  • Faux-pas task
  • Frontal cortex
  • Older people
  • Theory of mind
  • Voxel-based morphometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

Cite this

Guevara, Andrea Brioschi ; Knutson, Kristine M. ; Wassermann, Eric M. ; Pulaski, Sarah ; Grafman, Jordan Henry ; Krueger, Frank. / Theory of mind impairment in patients with behavioural variant fronto-temporal dementia (bv-FTD) increases caregiver burden. In: Age and ageing. 2015 ; Vol. 44, No. 5. pp. 891-895.
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Theory of mind impairment in patients with behavioural variant fronto-temporal dementia (bv-FTD) increases caregiver burden. / Guevara, Andrea Brioschi; Knutson, Kristine M.; Wassermann, Eric M.; Pulaski, Sarah; Grafman, Jordan Henry; Krueger, Frank.

In: Age and ageing, Vol. 44, No. 5, afv059, 01.09.2015, p. 891-895.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Grafman, Jordan Henry

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