AFTD Medical Advisory Council Members Publish Studies on FTD

MAC Mendez and Mesulam

Two recently published studies on FTD subtypes – behavioral variant FTD (bvFTD) and primary progressive aphasia (PPA) – feature members of the AFTD Medical Advisory Council as co-authors.

Mario Mendez, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of California, Los Angeles, is the lead author of a study about the concept of “vicarious embarrassment” in bvFTD, published in the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences on November 5. Dr. Mendez is the former chair of the AFTD Medical Advisory Council.

The study suggests persons diagnosed with bvFTD may overadhere to social norms to determine their embarrassment responses. Therefore, vicarious embarrassment – or feeling embarrassment for someone else – could be an early indicator of the disorder.

In another study published December 4, researchers from Northwestern and Stanford universities, including AFTD Medical Advisory Council member M.-Marsel Mesulam, M.D., co-authored a report on PPA and “phonemic paraphrasias,” a common presenting symptom that refers to the substitution, addition, or rearrangement of speech sounds that results in the mispronunciation of single words.

The study presents evidence that phonemic paraphrasias in non-semantic PPA may be associated with taxonomic interference, or interference in the classification of things.

Click here to read more about the bvFTD study, and here for the PPA study.

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