Frontotemporal dementia refers to the condition where frontal and temporal lobes of brain are primarily affected. These areas of brain are involved with behavior, personality and language so when they are affected, they render a person with severe personality, mood, behavioral and language disturbances. This diseases usually occurs between age 40 and 65
The symptoms and signs can be different in different people depending on the area of the brain affected. The symptoms of this disease gets worse progressively.
Behavior changes: socially inappropriate, lack of sensitivity, low judgement skills, apathy, compulsive disorder, low care of self-hygiene, overeating or taking more sugar containing food, compulsive to put things in mouth.
Language and speech problems: language difficulties occur which are progressive, nonfluent (agrammatic) aphasia, finding difficult to use the right word in speech, forgetfulness of word meanings, hesitant in speaking, difficulty in making a sentence.
Movement disorders: lack of coordination, spasms and weakness in muscles, rigidity, crying or laughing inappropriately, tremors and difficulty in swallowing.
Fronto-temporal dementia occurs because of the accumulation of some substances in the frontal and temporal parts of the brain but what is the reason behind the changes is unknown.
Diagnosis is mainly through signs and symptoms. To rule out other causes, doctor may advice some blood tests. Some tests which help diagnosing frontotemporal dementia are
- Sleep study
- Neurophysiological tests
- Brain scans: MRI and fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tracer scan. (FDG-PET)
Some medications and speech therapy can help lessen the symptoms.
- Antidepressants: SSRIs; citalopram (Celexa) ,sertraline (Zoloft) or paroxetine (Paxil) others may include Trazodone; effective in reducing behavioral issues.
- Antipsychotics: quetiapine (Seroquel) or olanzapine (Zyprexa).
Lifestyle and home remedies
Cardiovascular exercises should be the part of routine since it helps elevating mood and thinking.
Changing the ways of interaction; removing the triggers that cause inappropriate behavior, maintaining peace, helping in daily task and making them simple for the patient, making a proper routine for the patient, etc. may help improving the symptoms.