Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD)

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is the clinical presentation of frontotemporal lobar degeneration, which is characterized by progressive neuronal loss predominantly involving the frontal and/or temporal lobes, and typical loss of over 70% of spindle neurons, while other neuron types remain intact.

It was first described by Arnold Pick in 1892 and was originally called Pick’s disease. Second only to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in prevalence, FTD accounts for 20% of young onset dementia cases. Signs and symptoms typically manifest in late adulthood, more commonly between the ages of 55 and 65, approximately equally affecting men and women.

Common signs and symptoms include significant changes in social and personal behavior, apathy, blunting of emotions, and deficits in both expressive and receptive language. Currently, there is no cure for FTD, but there are treatments that help alleviate symptoms.

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