Frontotemporal dementia, also known as Pick’s disease, is a rare form of dementia that is very similar to Alzheimer’s disease except that it only affects certain areas of the brain. Individuals with frontotemporal dementia have an abnormally high amount of a protein called “tau” in the brain. This protein is found in all nerve cells, but scientists are still searching for the cause of the abnormal quantities that develop in some individuals. Frontotemporal dementia is very rare and usually affects individuals between ages 40 to 60.
This is a progressive disease that slowly worsens over time. The disease gets its name because the tau protein only affects the frontal lobes and temporal lobes of the brain.
Individuals with frontotemporal dementia struggle with higher level reasoning, expressive language, speech perception and memory formation as these areas of the brain begin to shrink over time.
More information on symptoms, causes and treatment may be found on the Alzheimer’s Association’s website.