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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 48 (2006) 9, 739 - 744

Case report

The development of psychotic symptoms in later life: late-onset schizophrenia of frontotemporal dementia? A case study

C.J. Kerssens, Y.A.L. Pijnenburg, S. Schouws, P. Eikelenboom, W. van Tilburg

summary The diagnosis of psychotic disorders that develop later in life is complicated, as can be seen from the case of a 65-year-old woman. Initially she was admitted to hospital for psychotic depression, but after some time doubts arose regarding the diagnosis. The most striking symptoms were bizarre delusions with acoustic, haptic and gustatory hallucinations. In addition, she showed behavioral and personality changes. It is difficult to establish whether a patient has late-onset schizophrenia or frontotemporal dementia. The similarities and differences between the symptoms of these two disorders are discussed and advice is given to assist with clinicians with diagnosis in the future.

keywords differential diagnosis, frontotemporal dementia, late-onset schizophrenia