Dementia: A Word to Be Forgotten | Dementia and Cognitive Impairment | JAMA Neurology | JAMA Network
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Neurological Review
May 2008

Dementia: A Word to Be Forgotten

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations:Department of Restorative Dentistry, School of Dental Medicine (Dr Trachtenberg), and Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, School of Medicine (Dr Trojanowski), University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.



Arch Neurol. 2008;65(5):593-595. doi:10.1001/archneur.65.5.593

A rationale is presented for the elimination of the word dementiaas a diagnostic term. It is viewed as a generalization that is pejorative and harmful based on historical and current patient, caregiver, and physician perspectives. Suggestions for more meaningful and nonstigmatizing terminology are offered. Primary among these is to change the meaning of the abbreviation FTD from frontotemporal dementia to frontotemporal disease. This article combines the personal aspects of the caregiver experience (Dr Trachtenberg) with the professional input of the scientist and physician intimately involved in the field (Dr Trojanowski). This collaboration led to the unified conclusions that are expressed.