There are multiple kinds of degenerative dementia, all of which affect different parts of the brain in different ways. Frontotemporal Dementia, which has several subtypes of its own, is one of these conditions, almost exclusively affecting the frontal lobe of the brain.
Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD), including a variety commonly referred to as Pick's disease, is a form of dementia that is characterized by a degeneration of the brain's frontal lobe, which sometimes expands into the temporal lobe.
FTD can be extremely difficult to diagnose accurately, because of a series of symptoms that vary strongly from person to person, and are similar to other forms of dementia. Three main groups of symptoms exist for the disease, all of which stem from the degeneration of the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. These groups are:
Other symptoms of FTD include difficulty with complex planning or problem solving, and the appearance of frontal release signs, such as the rooting reflex or palmar grasp.
Many degenerative neurological diseases do not have a strong genetic component, but FTD is believed to be an exception, with a high familial component compared to other instances of dementia. Unlike in other forms of dementia, however, there are no nutritional deficiencies or other habits that increase the likelihood of developing FTD.
Instead, risk factors for developing FTD include:
Like other varieties of degenerative dementia, there is no cure or treatment that can eradicate, prevent or stop the disease from progressing. With proper support, behavioral issues can be managed, though the average length of survival is seven years from the onset of the condition.
FTD differs from other forms of degenerative dementia, because of its manifestation in the frontal lobe of the brain, and tendency to produce primitive reflexes and inappropriate behaviors. With a genetic correlation and no known cure, the disease can only be symptomatically managed with medical support.
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