Excessive TV watching in patients with frontotemporal dementia

Ji Soo Shin, Michael Sunmin Kim, Nicholas Sunyong Kim, Geon Ha Kim, Sang Won Seo, Eun Joo Kim, Kenneth M. Heilman, Duk L. Na

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The "environmental dependency syndrome" refers to a loss of personal autonomy such that a person's environment almost entirely controls their actions. The goal of this study is to learn if patients with frontotemporal degeneration (FTD) exhibit prolonged TV watching, a behavior which may be a symptom of environmental dependency. We recruited 40 patients with FTD and 48 patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), and asked these participants' caregivers about TV watching behaviors including total viewing time and channel/show preference, along with other behaviors indicative of environmental dependency. Compared to AD patients, FTD patients watched TV for a longer time. In addition, the patients who watched more TV showed more signs of environmental dependency. Increased TV watching may be a sign of environmental dependency, however further research is needed to explore other hypotheses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-496
Number of pages8
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • Environmental dependency
  • Frontotemporal dementia
  • TV watching
  • Utilization behavior


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