Off-label medication use in frontotemporal dementia

Bei Hu, Leslie Ross, John Neuhaus, David Knopman, Joel Kramer, Bradley Boeve, Richard J. Caselli, Neill Graff-Radford, Mario F. Mendez, Bruce L. Miller, Adam L. Boxer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Objective: There are no Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved medications indicated for the treatment of frontotemporal dementia (FTD). We sought to determine the most commonly used drugs used to treat behavioral variant FTD (bvFTD) in specialized dementia clinics. Methods: Medication and demographic data from the Alzheimergs Disease Research Centers of California (ARCC) and a multicenter FTD natural history study (NHS) data set were compared in bvFTD and Alzheimergs disease (AD), and effects of demographic variables were assessed using logistic regression. Results: Overall, the percentage of patients taking one or more FDA-approved AD or psychiatric medications was similar in bvFTD and AD; however, after controlling for demographic variables, acetylcholinesterase inhibitor (AChI) use was less common in bvFTD, whereas memantine use remained similar in the 2 groups. Conclusions: Despite lack of evidence for efficacy, the use of AChIs and memantine is common in bvFTD. Clinical trials should be pursued to determine the optimal therapeutic interventions for bvFTD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)128-133
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2010


  • Alzheimergs disease
  • Antipsychotic agents
  • Donepezil
  • Frontotemporal dementia
  • Galantamine
  • Memantine
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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