Frontotemporal dementia: What is it and are you at risk of symptoms?

Posted on Mar 15 2018 - 10:33am by admin

Dementia mostly affects people over 65, and there are four common types – Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy body dementia, vascular dementia and frontotemporal dementia.

Frontotemporal dementia is the most uncommon type of dementia of these, and mainly affects the front and sides of the brain and causes problems with behaviour and language.

Unlike other types of dementia it tends to start at a younger age.

So what are the symptoms to look out for and are you at risk?

According to the NHS, signs of frontotempora dementia can include:

  • Personality and behaviour changes – acting inappropriately or impulsively, appearing selfish or unsympathetic, neglecting personal hygiene, overeating, or loss of motivation
  • Language problems – speaking slowly, struggling to make the right sound when saying a word, getting words in the wrong order, or using words incorrectly
  • Problems with mental abilities – getting distracted easily, struggling with planning and organisation
  • Memory problems – these only tend to occur later on, unlike more common forms of dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease

The health body adds: “There may also be physical problems, such as slow or stiff movements, loss of bladder or bowel control (usually not until later on), muscle weakness or difficulty swallowing.”

There’s currently no cure for frontotemporal dementia or treatment to slow down the disease, but there are options for helping control some of the symptoms.

These include:

  • Medicines – to control some of the behavioural problems
  • Therapies – such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and speech and language therapy for problems with movement, everyday tasks and communication
  • Dementia activities – such as memory cafes, which are drop-in sessions for people with memory problems and their carers to get support and advice

Support groups – who can offer tips on managing symptoms from dementia experts and people living with frontotemporal dementia, and their families.

Vascular dementia is a common type of dementia that is caused by reduced blood flow to the brain.

This kind of dementia can have symptoms similar to Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. These can include memory loss, disorientation and problems with communication.

There can also be more specific symptoms and these may differ depending on the area of the brain that is affected.

Alzheimer’s Research UK lists four symptoms to look out for. 

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