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Suicide Risk in Frontotemporal Lobe Degeneration: To be Considered, to be Prevented

Alberici, Antonella MD; Cottini, Elisabetta MD; Cosseddu, Maura MSc; Borroni, Barbara MD; Padovani, Alessandro MD, PhD

Alzheimer Disease & Associated Disorders:
doi: 10.1097/WAD.0b013e3182223254
Case Report

Suicide is difficult to ascertain in elderly patients, and dementia might represent a risk factor, though predictors of suicide in dementia are still unknown. We report the case of a patient recently diagnosed as having a behavioral variant of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), apathetic syndrome, who committed suicide by hanging. His personal and family history was negative for mental disorders; a depressive syndrome was diagnosed 1 year before FTLD diagnosis, and treated unsuccessfully. To the best of our knowledge, no data are available about self-harmful events in FTLD. This case report argues for the urgent need for developing specific tools for the assessment of suicidal ideation among at-risk population.

Author Information

Department of Neurology, University of Brescia, Italy

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Reprints: Antonella Alberici, MD, Department of Medical Sciences, Clinic of Neurology, University of Brescia, P.zzale Spedali Civili 1, 25100 Brescia, Italy (e-mail:

Received February 18, 2011

Accepted April 22, 2011

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.