Frontotemporal dementia/Pick's Disease

Frontotemporal dementia is a disorder that affects the front (frontal lobes) and the sides (temporal lobes) of the brain. Because these regions often, but not always, shrink, brain imaging can be useful in diagnosis.

Frontotemporal can affect people in their 40s and 50s - known as early-onset dementia. There is no specific abnormality associated with all cases of frontotemporal dementia. In one type called Pick's disease, there are abnormal microscopic deposits called Pick bodies, but these are not always present.

Symptoms of frontotemporal dementia/Pick's are:-

• A more rapid onset than in Alzheimer's disease.

• The first symptoms often involve changes in behaviour, judgment, planning and social functioning. Individuals may make rude or off-colour remarks to family or strangers. They may make unwise decisions about finances or personal matters. They may also become disinhibited and lose their social skills, such as inappropriate touching, using bad language or disrobing in public.

• Individuals' feelings may seem disconnected from the situation. They may show apathy and loss of interest or excessive happiness and excitement.

• Individuals may have a strong desire to eat and gain weight as a result.

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Did you know?

More than 60 per cent of all care home residents, aged over 65, have a form of dementia.