What is it?

Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) is a name of a few disorders that occur when there is neuron cell loss in the frontal or temporal lobes, which cause them to shrink. The damage to these lobes usually cause behavioral, language, personality and movement changes. Frontotemporal Dementia, unlike dementia, starts at a younger age. Most cases are diagnosed between the ages 45 to 65. It is a progressive disease, which gets worse over the years.There are genetic mutations that have been linked to frontotemporal dementia. But more than half of the people who develop frontotemporal dementia have no family history of dementia. The frontal variant, it the FTD type that affects behavior and personality. Primary progressive aphasia, is a different form of FTD, which is also divided into two subtypes. Progressive nonfluent aphasia- affects the ability to speak. Semantic aphasia, the second type, affects the ability to use and understand language.

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Signs & symptoms

Frontotemporal Dementia symptoms may include personality and behavioral changes, such as lack of judgement and inhibition, impulsiveness, apathetic appearance, personal hygiene neglect, loss of motivation and overeating. Language problems may include slow speech, speaking with the wrong sounds, getting words in the wrong order or using words incorrectly. Also, mental abilities like concentration or organization may be harmed. In a later phase, memory problems begin. Other symptoms may include stiff movements, loss of bladder or bowel control, muscle weakness and difficulty swallowing.


Diagnosis of frontotemporal dementia is based on physical history, family history, and physical examination. Usually, doctors will run blood tests and lumbar puncture to rule out other conditions that may lead to similar symptoms. Neuropsychological evaluation usually takes place and brain scans such as CT or MRI are done. Fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tracer (FDG-PET) scans can indicate where in the brain there is hypometabolism.


There is no cure for frontotemporal dementia, but some symptoms may be treated with medication such as anxiety or depression. Antipsychotic medicine may reduce irrational and compulsive behaviors. Physical occupational therapy may help these patients as well.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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