Eating disturbance in frontotemporal dementia

Jonathan S. Kam*, Jolanda van Keizerswaard, Olivier Piguet

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a progressive neurodegenerative brain disorder, clinically characterized by changes in cognition, personality, and behavior, or changes in language skills. Marked disturbances in eating behavior, such as overeating and preference for sweet foods, are commonly reported in two of the three main subtypes: the behavioral variant of FTD and semantic dementia. This chapter reviews the current literature on eating abnormalities in FTD, their clinical characteristics, and their biological correlates. Existing literature shows that disturbance in an orbitofrontal-insular-striatal brain network underlies the emergence of eating disturbance in FTD. In addition, recent evidence indicates that degeneration and consequent dysregulation within the hypothalamus relate to significant feeding disturbance in the behavioral variant of FTD. These findings could provide a basis for the development of therapeutic models of this debilitating feature in FTD, which results in significant caregiver burden and possibly contributes to disease progression.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDiet and nutrition in dementia and cognitive decline
EditorsColin R. Martin, Victor Preedy
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherAcademic Press
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9780124079397
ISBN (Print)9780124078246
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia
  • Hypothalamus
  • Neuroimaging
  • Postmortem
  • Progressive nonfluent aphasia
  • Semantic dementia


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