What Are Frontotemporal Disorders? Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment (2023)

Related Dementias

On this page:

  • What are the types and symptoms of FTD?
  • What causes FTD?
  • How is FTD diagnosed?
  • Treatment and management of FTD
  • Where to find services for FTD diagnosis and treatment

Frontotemporal disorders (FTD), sometimes called frontotemporal dementia, are the result of damage to neurons in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. Many possible symptoms can result, including unusual behaviors, emotional problems, trouble communicating, difficulty with work, or difficulty with walking. FTD is rare and tends to occur at a younger age than other forms of dementia. Roughly 60% of people with FTD are 45 to 64 years old.

What Are Frontotemporal Disorders? Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment (1)

FTD is progressive, meaning symptoms get worse over time. In the early stages, people may have just one symptom. As the disease progresses, other symptoms appear as more parts of the brain are affected. It is difficult to predict how long someone with FTD will live. Some people live more than 10 years after diagnosis, while others live less than two years after they are diagnosed.

There is currently no cure for FTD, and no treatments slow or stop the progression of the disease, but there are ways to help manage the symptoms.

What do the terms mean?

What Are Frontotemporal Disorders? Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment (2)

One of the challenges shared by people living with these disorders, families, clinicians, and researchers is what terminology to use. Here, we have used the term frontotemporal disorders to characterize this group of diseases and the abbreviation FTD, which is commonly used to refer to them. Other terms used include frontotemporal lobar degeneration and frontotemporal dementia, but it's important to note that with some frontotemporal disorders, the primary symptoms are problems with speech or movement, rather than dementia symptoms. Physicians and psychologists diagnose the different forms of FTD based on a person’s symptoms as well as the results of brain scans and genetic tests.

What are the types and symptoms of FTD?

In the early stages, it can be hard to know which type of FTD a person has because symptoms and the order in which they appear can vary from one person to another. Also, the same symptoms can appear across different disorders and vary from one stage of the disease to the next as different parts of the brain are affected.

Symptoms of FTD are often misunderstood. Family members and friends may think that a person is misbehaving, leading to anger and conflict. It is important to understand that people with these disorders cannot control their behaviors and other symptoms and lack any awareness of their illness.

There are three types of frontotemporal disorders (FTD): behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), primary progressive aphasia (PPA), and movement disorders.

Behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia

The most common FTD, bvFTD, involves changes in personality, behavior, and judgment. People with this disorder may have problems with cognition, but their memory may stay relatively intact. Symptoms can include:

  • Problems planning and sequencing (thinking through which steps come first, second, and so on)
  • Difficulty prioritizing tasks or activities
  • Repeating the same activity or saying the same word over and over
  • Acting impulsively or saying or doing inappropriate things without considering how others perceive the behavior
  • Becoming disinterested in family or activities they used to care about

Over time, language and/or movement problems may occur, and the person living with bvFTD will need more care and supervision.

Primary progressive aphasia

PPA involves changes in the ability to communicate — to use language to speak, read, write, and understand what others are saying. This includes difficulty using or understanding words (aphasia) and difficulty speaking properly (e.g., slurred speech). People with PPA may have one or both of these symptoms. They may become mute or unable to speak.

Many people with PPA develop symptoms of dementia. Problems with memory, reasoning, and judgment are not apparent at first but can develop over time. In addition, some people with PPA may experience significant behavioral changes, similar to those seen in bvFTD, as the disease progresses.

There are three types of PPA, categorized by the kind of language problems that appear first.

  • Semantic PPA: A person slowly loses the ability to understand single words and sometimes to recognize the faces of familiar people and common objects.
  • Agrammatic PPA: A person has more and more trouble speaking and may omit words that link nouns and verbs (such as to, from, the). Eventually, the person may no longer be able to speak at all. The person may eventually develop movement symptoms similar to those seen in corticobasal syndrome.
  • Logopenic PPA: A person has trouble finding the right words during a conversation but can understand words and sentences. The person does not have problems with grammar.

Researchers do not fully understand the biological basis of the different types of PPA. But they hope one day to link specific language problems with the changes in the brain that cause them.

Movement disorders

Two rare neurological movement disorders associated with FTD, corticobasal syndrome and progressive supranuclear palsy, occur when the parts of the brain that control movement are affected. The disorders may affect thinking and language abilities, too.

(Video) Frontotemporal Dementia, Causes, Signs and Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment.

  • Corticobasal syndrome can be caused by corticobasal degeneration — a gradual atrophy (shrinkage) and loss of nerve cells in specific parts of the brain. This degeneration causes progressive loss of the ability to control movement, typically beginning around age 60. The most prominent symptom may be apraxia, the inability to use the hands or arms to perform a movement despite normal strength, such as difficulty closing buttons or operating small appliances. Other symptoms can include muscle rigidity and difficulty swallowing. Symptoms may appear first on one side of the body, but eventually both sides are affected. Occasionally, a person with corticobasal syndrome first has language problems or trouble orienting objects in space and later develops movement symptoms. Not everyone who has corticobasal syndrome has problems with memory, cognition, language, or behavior.
  • Progressive supranuclear palsy causes problems with balance and walking. People with the disorder typically move slowly, experience unexplained falls, lose facial expression, and have body stiffness, especially in the neck and upper body — symptoms similar to those of Parkinson’s disease. A hallmark sign of this disorder is trouble with eye movements, particularly looking down. These symptoms may give the face a fixed stare. Problems with behavior, memory, problem solving, and judgment can also develop.

Other movement-related types of FTD include frontotemporal dementia with parkinsonism and frontotemporal dementia with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (FTD-ALS).

  • Frontotemporal dementia with parkinsonism can be an inherited disease caused by a genetic tau genetic variant. Symptoms include movement problems similar to those of Parkinson’s disease, such as slowed movement, stiffness, and balance problems, and changes in behavior or language.
  • FTD-ALS, also called FTD with motor neuron disease, is a combination of bvFTD and ALS, the latter commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. In addition to the behavioral and/or language changes seen in bvFTD, people with FTD-ALS experience the progressive muscle weakness seen in ALS, fine jerks, and wiggling in muscles. Symptoms of either disease may appear first, with other symptoms developing over time. Changes in certain genes have been found in some people with FTD-ALS, though most cases are not hereditary.

What causes FTD?

Scientists are beginning to understand the biological and genetic basis for the changes observed in brain cells that lead to FTD.What Are Frontotemporal Disorders? Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment (3)

Scientists describe FTD using the patterns of change in the brain seen in an autopsy after death. These changes include loss of neurons and abnormal amounts, or forms of proteins called tau and TDP-43. These proteins occur naturally in the body and help cells function properly. When the proteins don’t work properly, for reasons not yet fully understood, neurons in specific brain regions are damaged.

In most cases, the cause of a FTD is unknown. Individuals with a family history of FTD are more likely to develop such a disorder. About 10 to 30% of bvFTD is due to specific genetic causes.

FTD that runs in a family is often related to variants (permanent changes) in certain genes. Genes are basic units of heredity that tell cells how to make the proteins the body needs to function. Even small changes in a gene may produce an abnormal protein, which can lead to changes in the brain and, eventually, disease.

Scientists have discovered several different genes that, when mutated, can lead to FTD:

  • Tau gene (also called the MAPT gene) — A change in this gene causes abnormalities in a protein called tau, which then forms tangles inside neurons and ultimately leads to the destruction of brain cells. Inheriting a variant in this gene means a person will almost surely develop a frontotemporal disorder, usually bvFTD, but the exact age of onset and symptoms cannot be predicted.
  • GRN gene — A change in this gene can lead to lower production of the protein progranulin, which in turn causes another protein, TDP-43, to go awry in brain cells. Many frontotemporal disorders can result, though bvFTD is the most common. The GRN gene can cause different symptoms in different family members and cause the disease to begin at different ages.
  • C9ORF72 gene — An unusual change in this gene appears to be the most common genetic abnormality in familial frontotemporal disorders and familial ALS. This variant can cause a frontotemporal disorder, ALS, or both conditions.

In recent years researchers have discovered several other genetic changes in genes that lead to rare familial types of frontotemporal disorders. These other variants account for less than 5% of all cases of FTD.

Families affected by inherited and familial forms of FTD can help scientists advance research by participating in clinical studies and trials. For more information, talk with a health care professional or visit the Alzheimers.gov Clinical Trials Finder.

  • Brian's story

    Brian, an attorney, began having trouble organizing his cases. In time, his law firm assigned him to do paperwork only. Brian’s wife thought he was depressed because his father had died two years earlier. Brian, 56, was treated for depression, but his symptoms got worse. He became more disorganized and began making sexual comments to his wife’s female friends. Even more unsettling, he neither understood nor cared that his behavior disturbed his family and friends. As time went on, Brian had trouble paying bills and was less affectionate toward his wife and young son. Three years after Brian’s symptoms began, his counselor recommended a neurological evaluation. Brian was diagnosed with behavioral variant FTD — the most common form of FTD.

How is FTD diagnosed?

FTD can be hard to diagnose because the symptoms are similar to those of other conditions. For example, bvFTD is sometimes misdiagnosed as a mood disorder, such as depression. To make matters more confusing, a person can have both FTD and another type of dementia, such as Alzheimer's disease. Also, because these disorders are rare, physicians may be unfamiliar with the signs and symptoms.

To help diagnose frontotemporal dementia, a doctor may:

  • Perform an exam and ask about symptoms
  • Look at personal and family medical history
  • Use laboratory tests to help rule out other conditions
  • Order genetic testing
  • Conduct tests to assess memory, thinking, language skills, and physical functioning
  • Order imaging of the brain

A psychiatric evaluation can help determine if depression or another mental health condition is causing or contributing to the condition. Only genetic tests in familial cases or a brain autopsy after a person dies can confirm a diagnosis of FTD.

Researchers are studying ways to diagnose FTD earlier and more accurately and to distinguish them from other types of dementia. One area of research involves biomarkers, such as proteins or other substances in the blood or cerebrospinal fluid which can be used to measure disease progression or the effects of treatment. Researchers are also exploring ways to improve brain imaging and neuropsychological testing.

(Video) What is FTD?

Treatment and management of FTD

What Are Frontotemporal Disorders? Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment (4)So far, there is no cure for FTD and no way to slow down or prevent these diseases. However, there are ways to manage symptoms. A team of specialists — doctors, nurses, and speech, physical, and occupational therapists — familiar with these disorders can help guide treatment.

  • Clinical trials on frontotemporal disorders

    Volunteers are needed for clinical trials that are testing treatments for FTD. By joining one of these studies, you may learn more about how to manage FTD symptoms and contribute useful information to help others in the future.

Managing behavior changes in FTD

Behavior changes associated with bvFTD can upset and frustrate family members and other caregivers. Understanding changes in personality and behavior and knowing how to respond can reduce frustration and help provide the best care for a person with FTD.

Managing behavioral symptoms can involve several approaches. Here are some strategies to consider:

  • Try to accept rather than challenge someone with behavioral symptoms. Arguing or reasoning will not help, because they cannot control their behaviors or see that they are unusual or upsetting to others. Instead, be as sensitive as possible and understand that it’s the illness “talking.”
  • Take a “timeout” when frustrated — take deep breaths, count to 10, or leave the room for a few minutes.
  • To deal with apathy, limit choices and offer specific choices. Open-ended questions, such as “What do you want to do today?” are more difficult to answer than specific ones, such as “Do you want to go to the park or for a walk?”.
  • Maintain a regular schedule, reduce distractions, and modify the environment to reduce confusion and improve the person’s sleep.
  • If compulsive eating is an issue, consider supervising eating, limiting food choices, locking cabinets and the refrigerator, and distracting the person with other activities.

To ensure the safety of a person and his or her family, caregivers may have to take on new responsibilities or arrange care that was not needed before.

Medications are available to treat certain behavioral symptoms. Antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are commonly prescribed to treat social disinhibition and impulsive behavior. People with aggression or delusions sometimes take low doses of antipsychotic medications. If a particular medication is not working, a doctor may try another. Always consult a doctor before changing, adding, or stopping a drug or supplement.

Treating language problems in FTD

Treatment of PPA has two goals — maintaining language skills and using new tools and other ways to communicate. Treatment tailored to a person’s specific language problem and stage of PPA generally works best. Since language ability declines over time, different strategies may be needed as the illness progresses. The following strategies may help:

  • Use a communication notebook (an album of photos labeled with names of people and objects), gestures, and drawings to communicate without talking.
  • Store lists of words or phrases in a computer or phone to point to.
  • Speak slowly and clearly, use simple sentences, wait for responses, and ask for clarification if needed.
  • Work with a speech-language pathologist familiar with PPA to determine the best tools and strategies to use. Note that many speech-language pathologists are trained to treat aphasia caused by stroke, which requires different strategies from those used with PPA.
  • Mary Ann's story

    Mary Ann, a television news anchor for 20 years, began having trouble reading the nightly news. At first, her doctor thought she had a vision problem, but tests showed that her eyesight was normal. Although normally creative and energetic, Mary Ann, 52, had trouble finishing assignments and voicing her ideas at staff meetings. In time, she was let go from her job. Mary Ann applied for Social Security disability benefits, which required a medical exam. Her symptoms puzzled several doctors until a neurologist diagnosed logopenic PPA. A speech therapist taught Mary Ann to use a personal digital assistant to express words and phrases. For emergencies, Mary Ann carries a card in her wallet that explains her condition.

    (Video) Frontotemporal dementia | Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, prognosis

Managing movement problems in FTD

Medications and physical and occupational therapy may provide modest relief for the movement symptoms of FTD. A doctor who specializes in these disorders can guide treatment.

For people with corticobasal syndrome, Parkinson’s disease medicines may offer some temporary improvement. Physical and occupational therapy may help the person move more easily. Speech therapy can help them manage language symptoms.

For people with progressive supranuclear palsy, sometimes Parkinson’s disease drugs provide temporary relief for slowness, stiffness, and balance problems. Exercises can keep the joints limber, and weighted walking aids — such as a walker with sandbags over the lower front rung — can help maintain balance. Speech, vision, and swallowing difficulties usually do not respond to any drug treatment. Antidepressants have shown modest success. For people with abnormal eye movements, bifocals or special glasses called prisms are sometimes prescribed.

People with FTD-ALS typically decline quickly over two to three years. During this time, physical therapy can help treat muscle symptoms, and a walker or wheelchair may be useful. Speech therapy may help a person speak more clearly at first. Later on, other ways of communicating, such as a speech synthesizer, can be used. The ALS symptoms of the disorder ultimately make it impossible to stand, walk, eat, and breathe on one’s own.

Physicians, nurses, social workers, and physical, occupational, and speech therapists who are familiar with these conditions can ensure that people with movement disorders get appropriate medical treatment and that their caregivers can help them live as well as possible.

The future of FTD treatment

Researchers are continuing to explore the biological changes in the body, including genetic variants and proteins, that lead to FTD and identify and test possible new drugs and other treatments. They are also developing better ways to track disease progression, so that treatments, when they become available, can be directed to the right people. Clinical trials and studies are underway to advance these efforts. People with FTD and healthy people may be able to participate. To find out more, talk to your health care provider or visit the Alzheimers.gov Clinical Trials Finder.

Where to find FTD diagnosis and treatment

Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center
Department of Neurology
New York, NY

Houston Methodist Hospital
Frontotemporal Degeneration Unit
Houston, TX

Indiana University School of Medicine
Indiana Alzheimer's Disease Center
Indianapolis, IN

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Frontotemporal Dementia and Young-Onset Dementias Clinic
Baltimore, MD

Massachusetts General Hospital
Frontotemporal Disorders Unit
Boston, MA

Mayo Clinic
Department of Neurology
Rochester, MN
Jacksonville, FL
Phoenix or Scottsdale, AZ

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Mesulam Center for Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease
Chicago, IL

University of Alabama, Birmingham
Neurology Department, Division of Memory Disorders
Birmingham, AL

University of California, Los Angeles
Neurobehavior Clinic
Los Angeles, CA

University of California, San Diego
Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer's Disease Research Center
La Jolla, CA

University of California, San Francisco
Memory and Aging Center
San Francisco, CA

(Video) 2-Minute Neuroscience: Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD)

University of Pennsylvania Health System
Penn Frontotemporal Degeneration Center
Philadelphia, PA

Washington University
Department of Neurology
St. Louis, MO

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NIA Alzheimer’s and related Dementias Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center
The NIA ADEAR Center offers information and free print publications about Alzheimer’s and related dementias for families, caregivers, and health professionals. ADEAR Center staff answer telephone, email, and written requests and make referrals to local and national resources.

Explore the Alzheimers.gov website for information and resources on Alzheimer’s and related dementias from across the federal government.

Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

National Library of Medicine

Eldercare Locator

This content is provided by the NIH National Institute on Aging (NIA). NIA scientists and other experts review this content to ensure it is accurate and up to date.

Content reviewed: July 30, 2021


What causes frontotemporal? ›

Frontotemporal dementia is caused by clumps of abnormal protein forming inside brain cells. These are thought to damage the cells and stop them working properly. The proteins mainly build up in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain at the front and sides.

What are the symptoms of frontotemporal? ›

With FTD, unusual or antisocial behavior as well as loss of speech or language are usually the first symptoms. In later stages, patients develop movement disorders such as unsteadiness, rigidity, slowness, twitches, muscle weakness or difficulty swallowing.

What is a common treatment for frontotemporal dementia? ›

These include: occupational therapy – to identify problem areas in everyday life, such as getting dressed, and help work out practical solutions. speech and language therapy – to help improve any communication or swallowing problems. physiotherapy – to help with movement difficulties.

What is a frontotemporal disorder? ›

Frontotemporal disorders are the result of damage to neurons (nerve cells) in parts of the brain called the frontal and temporal lobes. As neurons die in the frontal and temporal regions, these lobes atrophy, or shrink.

What triggers frontotemporal dementia? ›

In most cases, the cause of a FTD is unknown. Individuals with a family history of FTD are more likely to develop such a disorder. About 10 to 30% of bvFTD is due to specific genetic causes. FTD that runs in a family is often related to variants (permanent changes) in certain genes.

Can stress cause frontotemporal dementia? ›

When both anxiety and depression were entered as variables, a significant increase in the risk of developing FTD was observed in patients who had reported anxiety on the HADS (p = 0.017; OR: 2.947, 95% CI: 1.209–7.158).

How is frontotemporal diagnosed? ›

THE DIAGNOSIS OF FRONTOTEMPORAL DEGENERATION (FTD) GENERALLY INVOLVES: Medical history and detailed neurological examination. Neuropsychological examination to assess language, behavior, memory, executive and visual-spatial functions. Neuroimaging to determine where and how extensively brain regions have atrophied.

What is the life expectancy of someone with frontotemporal? ›

People with FTD typically live six to eight years with their condition, sometimes longer, sometimes less. Most people die of problems related to advanced disease.

How fast does frontal lobe dementia progress? ›

Most studies show that FTD is steadily progressive, with declining function in everyday life and accumulation of social, cognitive, and neurological disabilities leading to complete dependency requiring institutional care over a course of 6–8 years[9].

How long do people live after diagnosis of frontotemporal dementia? ›

FTD gradually affects more and more areas of your brain, disrupting the abilities those areas control. The average life expectancy for a person after diagnosis with FTD is 7.5 years. While FTD isn't fatal on its own, it often causes other issues that are serious or even life-threatening.

What can mimic frontotemporal dementia? ›

People with frontotemporal dementia (FTD) are often misdiagnosed with Alzheimer's disease (AD), psychiatric disorders, vascular dementia or Parkinson's disease. The early symptoms and the brain image are often the most helpful tools to reach the right diagnosis.

What is the most prominent symptom of frontotemporal dementia? ›

The most common signs of frontotemporal dementia involve extreme changes in behavior and personality. These include: Increasingly inappropriate social behavior. Loss of empathy and other interpersonal skills, such as having sensitivity to another's feelings.

What are 3 features of frontotemporal dementia? ›

What are the symptoms of frontotemporal dementia?
  • Behavior and/or dramatic personality changes, such as swearing, stealing, increased interest in sex, or a deterioration in personal hygiene habits.
  • Socially inappropriate, impulsive, or repetitive behaviors.
  • Impaired judgment.
  • Apathy.
  • Lack of empathy.
  • Decreased self awareness.

What drugs should be avoided in frontotemporal dementia? ›

Drugs that are commonly used to treat other types of dementia are not recommended for people with FTD. These drugs, known as cholinesterase inhibitors (for example, donepezil, rivastigmine, galantamine) can actually make the symptoms of FTD worse.

What causes death in frontotemporal dementia? ›

Pneumonia is the most common cause of death in those who have frontotemporal dementia. They also are at increased risk for infections and fall-related injuries.

What is the 5 word memory test? ›

Administration: The examiner reads a list of 5 words at a rate of one per second, giving the following instructions: “This is a memory test. I am going to read a list of words that you will have to remember now and later on. Listen carefully. When I am through, tell me as many words as you can remember.

What is the difference between dementia and frontotemporal dementia? ›

While Alzheimer's disease generally affects most of the brain, frontotemporal dementia primarily affects the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain – the areas generally associated with personality and behaviour.

Are people with frontotemporal dementia violent? ›

A new study from Lund University in Sweden found that one third of patients with frontotemporal dementia or Alzheimer's disease were physically aggressive toward healthcare staff, relatives, strangers and animals.

Does frontal lobe dementia run in families? ›

In some families, there is a single faulty gene that will definitely cause FTD if it is passed down from a parent to a child. This is known as 'familial FTD'. About 10 to 15 in every 100 people with FTD have this type. Any child of a person with familial FTD has a 1 in 2 chance of getting the same gene.

Do people with frontotemporal dementia forget things? ›

Memory loss tends to be a more prominent symptom in early Alzheimer's than in early FTD, although advanced FTD often causes memory loss in addition to its more characteristic effects on behavior and language.

How do you slow down frontotemporal dementia? ›

Medications. Antidepressants. Some types of antidepressants, such as trazodone, may reduce the behavioral problems associated with frontotemporal dementia. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) — such as citalopram (Celexa), paroxetine (Paxil) or sertraline (Zoloft) — also have been effective in some people.

Can you see frontal lobe dementia on an MRI? ›

Frontal and temporal lobe atrophy on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), with relative preservation of posterior areas, represent the imaging hallmark of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (the neuropathological changes underlying FTD) (Neary et al. 1998).

What is the hallmark feature of frontotemporal dementia? ›

Behavioral disinhibition: Disinhibition is the hallmark feature of bvFTD and can manifest as socially inappropriate behavior (e.g., inappropriately approaching or touching strangers), loss of manners or decorum (e.g., violation of personal space, rude or offensive remarks), or impulsive, rash or careless actions (e.g., ...

What is the normal age of onset for frontotemporal dementia? ›

Large study explores age of onset of frontotemporal dementia by genetics, family history
MAPT (791 people)C9orf72 (1,433 people)
Age at symptom onset (mean)49.5 years58.2 years
Age at death (mean)58.5 years65.3 years
Disease duration (mean)9.3 years6.4 years
Mar 5, 2020

Does frontotemporal dementia hurt? ›

It has been postulated that FTD is characterised by a loss of awareness of pain and that the patients do not show appropriate response to painful stimuli [5,9] since motivational-affective components of pain decrease [4].

What three conditions are often mistaken for dementia? ›

Depression, nutritional deficiencies, side-effects from medications and emotional distress can all produce symptoms that can be mistaken as early signs of dementia, such as communication and memory difficulties and behavioural changes.

What are the two types of frontotemporal dementia? ›

There are two types of FTD – behavioural variant FTD (bvFTD) and primary progressive aphasia (PPA).

What accumulates in frontotemporal dementia? ›

In about half of FTD patients, a normal brain protein called tau accumulates abnormally and forms deposits. In others, a separate protein known as TDP43 accumulates in the same way. Unlike other dementias, FTD is highly heritable.

What celebrities have frontotemporal dementia? ›

Bruce Willis's updated diagnosis of frontotemporal dementia (FTD) has led to an outpouring of love from fellow celebrities including Paris Hilton, Aaron Paul, Selma Blair and Queen Latifah on social media.

What is the most common mutation in frontotemporal dementia? ›

C9 mutations are the most common cause of genetic FTD.

What are the diagnostic criteria for frontotemporal dementia? ›

Diagnostic criteria

Possible bvFTD requires a patient to have a progressive deterioration of behavior accompanied by three out of six core features (disinhibition, apathy, loss of sympathy/empathy, eating behavior changes, compulsive behaviors and an executive predominant pattern of dysfunction on cognitive testing).

What supplements for frontotemporal dementia? ›

Home Remedies for Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD)

A person with frontotemporal dementia and family members should talk with his or her doctor about whether to take antioxidants and other supplements, such as coenzyme Q10, vitamin C, and B vitamins, to support brain health.

Can frontotemporal dementia be prevented? ›

There is no cure for FTD and no way to slow it down or prevent it. However, there are ways to help manage symptoms, which include changes in behavior, speech, and movement. Managing behavior changes in FTD.

What are the risk factors for frontotemporal? ›

What are the risks for frontotemporal dementia? A family history of FTD is the only known risk for these diseases. Although experts believe that some cases of FTD are inherited, most people with FTD have no family history of it or other types of dementia.

How is frontotemporal dementia inherited? ›

In some families, there is a single faulty gene that will definitely cause FTD if it is passed down from a parent to a child. This is known as 'familial FTD'. About 10 to 15 in every 100 people with FTD have this type. Any child of a person with familial FTD has a 1 in 2 chance of getting the same gene.

How quickly does frontal lobe dementia progress? ›

Most studies show that FTD is steadily progressive, with declining function in everyday life and accumulation of social, cognitive, and neurological disabilities leading to complete dependency requiring institutional care over a course of 6–8 years[9].

What medications should be avoided for frontotemporal dementia? ›

Drugs that are commonly used to treat other types of dementia are not recommended for people with FTD. These drugs, known as cholinesterase inhibitors (for example, donepezil, rivastigmine, galantamine) can actually make the symptoms of FTD worse.

What is the hallmark of frontotemporal dementia? ›

Behavioral variant of frontotemporal dementia is defined by the gradual onset and progression of changes in behavior, including disinhibition, loss of empathy, apathy, and may include hyperorality and perseverative or compulsive behaviors.

How is frontotemporal dementia diagnosed? ›

THE DIAGNOSIS OF FRONTOTEMPORAL DEGENERATION (FTD) GENERALLY INVOLVES: Medical history and detailed neurological examination. Neuropsychological examination to assess language, behavior, memory, executive and visual-spatial functions. Neuroimaging to determine where and how extensively brain regions have atrophied.

Do you lose memory with frontotemporal dementia? ›

Memory loss tends to be a more prominent symptom in early Alzheimer's than in early FTD, although advanced FTD often causes memory loss in addition to its more characteristic effects on behavior and language.

What is the most common form of frontotemporal dementia? ›

The most common frontotemporal disorder is behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD). Common symptoms of bvFTD include changes in personality, behaviour and judgement. A person with frontotemporal dementia may also experience language difficulties, known as primary progressive aphasia.

Can you be tested for frontotemporal dementia? ›

There's no single test for frontotemporal dementia. Doctors look for signs and symptoms of the disease and try to exclude other possible causes. The disorder can be especially challenging to diagnose early because symptoms of frontotemporal dementia often overlap with those of other conditions.

Can I get tested for FTD gene? ›

A genetic counselor or physician should discuss testing options and provide pretest counseling before ordering genetic screening for FTD. Individuals cannot go on their own to a lab and be tested for these diseases. FTD does not appear on the results of any direct-to-consumer testing such as 23andMe.


1. Understanding Dementia (Alzheimer's & Vascular & Frontotemporal & Lewy Body Dementia)
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2. Frontotemporal Dementia | 60 Minutes Archive
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3. What Are the Symptoms of Frontotemporal Dementia? What is the Treatment? A Doctor Explains
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4. Vascular dementia causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, pathology
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5. The Dementia Experience: Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD)
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