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Semantic dementia (SD) is a progressive neurodegenerative language disorder characterized by fluent, empty speech and loss of word meaning. SD is one of three clinical syndromes associated with frontotemporal lobar degeneration. SD is a clinically-defined syndrome, but it is sometimes anatomically defined as the temporal variant of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (tvFTLD).
Signs and Symptoms
SD patients complain of word-finding difficulties. Neuropsychology testing reveals deficits in picture naming, category fluency (e.g. "Please list as many animals as you can in one minute") and non-verbal tasks where the patient is given three photos and asked to point to a semantically related pair (known as "the pyramid and palm tree task," in which the third item is a pine tree). As the disease progresses, behavioral and personality changes are often seen similar to those seen in frontotemporal dementia.
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- Frontotemporal lobar degeneration
- Frontotemporal dementia
- Progressive nonfluent aphasia
- Pick's disease
- Alzheimer's disease
- Semantic memory
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