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Diagnosis of frontotemporal dementia is clinical, which means the doctor makes the diagnosis based on interviewing the patient (anamnesis) and neurological examination. Additional tests are often carried out to support the diagnosis and rule out other diseases, but these must always be interpreted through the lens of the patient's symptoms. These tests are:
Neuropsychological tests: these tests objectively assess the patient's cognitive abilities (memory, language, reasoning, etc.). The patient’s score is compared to the general population of the same age and educational level, as both of these factors affect the test results.
Blood analysis: general health parameters that may affect brain function are assessed. Currently, no blood marker can reliably confirm the diagnosis of frontotemporal dementia.
Lumbar puncture: this test allows a sample of cerebrospinal fluid (the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord) to be obtained. Because it is in contact with the brain, it provides us with important information about problems involving this organ. Cerebrospinal fluid studies can reliably distinguish frontotemporal dementia from other dementias such as Alzheimer's disease.
Genetic testing: In cases of familial frontotemporal dementia, tests can be conducted to study potential genetic mutations. These genetic studies can be carried out using a blood test.
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