Frontotemporal Dementias in Latin America: History, Epidemiology, Genetics, and Clinical Research

Jorge J. Llibre-Guerra, Maria Isabel Behrens, Mirna Lie Hosogi, Lucia Montero, Teresa Torralva, Nilton Custodio, Erika Mariana Longoria-Ibarrola, Margarita Giraldo-Chica, David Aguillón, Angela Hardi, Gladys E. Maestre, Valeria Contreras, Celeste Doldan, Lissette Duque-Peñailillo, Heike Hesse, Norbel Roman, Dhara Angelina Santana-Trinidad, Christian Schenk, Ninoska Ocampo-Barba, Ricardo López-ContrerasRicardo Nitrini

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Introduction: The historical development, frequency, and impact of frontotemporal dementia (FTD) are less clear in Latin America than in high-income countries. Although there is a growing number of dementia studies in Latin America, little is known collectively about FTD prevalence studies by country, clinical heterogeneity, risk factors, and genetics in Latin American countries. Methods: A systematic review was completed, aimed at identifying the frequency, clinical heterogeneity, and genetics studies of FTD in Latin American populations. The search strategies used a combination of standardized terms for FTD and related disorders. In addition, at least one author per Latin American country summarized the available literature. Collaborative or regional studies were reviewed during consensus meetings. Results: The first FTD reports published in Latin America were mostly case reports. The last two decades marked a substantial increase in the number of FTD research in Latin American countries. Brazil (165), Argentina (84), Colombia (26), and Chile (23) are the countries with the larger numbers of FTD published studies. Most of the research has focused on clinical and neuropsychological features (n = 247), including the local adaptation of neuropsychological and behavioral assessment batteries. However, there are little to no large studies on prevalence (n = 4), biomarkers (n = 9), or neuropathology (n = 3) of FTD. Conclusions: Future FTD studies will be required in Latin America, albeit with a greater emphasis on clinical diagnosis, genetics, biomarkers, and neuropathological studies. Regional and country-level efforts should seek better estimations of the prevalence, incidence, and economic impact of FTD syndromes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number710332
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
StatePublished - Sep 6 2021


  • Latin America
  • biomarkers
  • frontotemporal dementia
  • genetics
  • history
  • prevalence


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