Thursday, 7 April 2016

Frontotemporal dementia

First train station is dementia. Here you would you have a guided tour about dementia. Today you would be learning about a dementia called frontotemporal dementia.

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is relatively rare among forms of dementia, it is sometimes called pick disease or frontal lobe dementia. Furthermore it affects around 16,000 people in the UK.

Frontontemporal dementia occurs much less than other forms of dementia such as Alzhimer's disease or Vascualr dementia. However it is significant cause of dementia in younger people who are under the age of 65 which makes Frontontemporal dementia  the third most common cause for people. In this age brackets it affects men and women equally. Frontontemporal dementia  is most often diagnosed between aged 45-65 though it can affect younger or older people in this considerably younger than the age at which people are most often diagnosed with dementia such as Alzheimer's disease.

The word Frontontemporal dementia  refers to the frontal and temporal lobes that are the regions of the brain that are impaired this form of dementia. The frontal lobe function is thinking, planning, organizing, problem solving, inhibitions, personality and emotions. The temporal lobe function is the memory and processing the language.

There are four types of Frontontemporal dementia. Firsly, behavioural variant Frontontemporal dementia  influnces somone behaviour and cause an individual to not socialize with another appropriately. Secondly, primary progressive aphasia which refers to impairment in language ability this would influence someone ability to communicate and process it. Thirdly, progressive suprancuclear palsy this affects someone balance, cognitive and movement. Someone with this type of frontotemporal dementia will notice they would have a impaired eye moment. Finally, the corticobasal degeneration appears as muscle weakness and tremors and usually affects only one side of the body. As the disorder progress, a person may experience memory and behavior symptoms.


There are many causes of Frontotemporal dementia, but they can all involve a build-up of abnormal tau proteins in the brain. The abnormal proteins clump together and because toxic to brain cells, which eventually kills them and that causes the affected areas of the brain to shrink over time. We do not fully know why these abnormal proteins build up, but research has found a genetic component, up to 40% of people with Frontotemporal dementia inherited if from their family. Also lifestyle factors can also cause Frontotemporal dementia.

The mutated gene that can affect Frontotemporal dementia are MAPT, GRN or C90RF72 which all play a part in how proteins work n the body. Children of those who carry the gene are at 50% risk of inheriting it.

Signs and symptoms

Symptoms of frontotemporal dementia usually develop gradually and increasing worse over a number of years. Many people will either have behavioural or language problems. As the condition progress, most people experience problems in both of these areas as well as additional physical problems and thinking difficulties. Eventually, the condition spreads to affect most brain functions.
First several years a person with frontotemporal dementia may experience dementia mild.

At this stage, main symptom is mostly behavioural changes such as disinhibition can make someone to make inappropriate comment or at it socially unacceptable ways. Someone might lose the empathy and sympathy they may not show any understanding or be able to show forgiveness to someone. Later on they may developed 'obsessional' behaviours that can include repeating the same words over and over again and hoarding items. Also a person might experience difficulty planning and organizing and sometimes memory. They know a something is wrong but can't put a finger on it, over the contray they can still be capable of managing household tasks and self-care with minimal help.

A person may show reduced inititative and lack of personal hygiene, becomes easily distracted or repeat the same action repeatedly; this is where overeacting or compulsively putting objects in the mouth may occur.

A person with frontotemporal dementia may experience the ability to communicate in expressive speech so they cannot express themselves and receptive speech which is the ability to understand speech. As I said before someone may have trouble finding the right word, speak very slowly, when they read or write they find it incredialy difficuly and not be able to form sentences in a way that make sense to them and other people.

Someone with frontotemporal dementia might display motor actions or the ability to control movement. They may have unwanted arm and leg movments or shakiness consequently they may fall frequently. Intresting fact, a person's memory and understanding of the space around them often remain intact especially in the earlier stages.


A person with impairment in judgement can lead to financial indiscretion which can lead to catastrophic consequences such as

Someone with frontotemporal dementia  might withdraw themselves away from their friends and relatives. Sometimes an individual might behave inappropriately with strangers, lose their social manners, act spontaneously Sometimes people with frontotemporal dementia  break laws because they loosed their inhibitions. At this stage, the behaviours can often be managed with lifestyle and environmental changes. A MRI image at this point will show mild atrophy in particular areas of frontal lobe.

If someone worked a shop it would affect them because since they not able to give sympathy and empathy towards a customer or even understand their perspectives of the problem. This may lead to the shops loose their customers or an individual is unable to do her/his job which means they would find themselves in a financial problem or rely their family to take in. This would also mean the family would get a closer to their relatives.

A person with frontotemporal dementia  might have a psychological effect like lack of motivation because a person may become very passive such as siting in front of the television or appear to lose interest in hobbies such as reading and when you say to a person with frontotemporal dementia "let's read a chapter of Wuthering Heights." They may give a big sigh because for them to read it takes a lot of effort for them and they got no motivation to read.

A person might not be their usual self in ways that are difficult to identify or even to explain. A person may becomes depressed or anxious in situations where memory problems are causing difficulties.

Websites I used

Heerema, E. (2016) Frontotemporal dementia symptoms, types, treatments. Available at: (Accessed: 7 April 2016).
Symptoms1 (2013) Available at: (Accessed: 7 April 2016).
Want any more information about dementia then this website is really good (haven't used as such, just looked at it without writing notes.)

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