Frontotemporal dementia

What is Frontotemporal dementia?

Frontotemporal dementia covers a range of conditions, including frontal lobe degeneration and dementia associated with motor neurone disease. These types of conditions are caused by damage and death of brain cells in the frontal lobe and/or the temporal parts of the brain.  These conditions are much less common than the three types of dementia described above and tend to occur in younger people (aged 40-65)


Everyone has very different symptoms. Early symptoms can affect behaviour and sometimes language. People may show signs of a change in their character or in their social behaviour. For example, a person who is generally considerate may become insensitive or thoughtless.


Frontal lobes: The right and left frontal lobes govern mood, behaviour, judgement and self-control. Symptoms of this type of dementia include alterations in personality and behaviour, changes in the way a person feels and expresses emotion and loss of judgement.

Temporal lobes: The right and left temporal lobes are involved in the organisation of sensory input such as what you hear or see. Symptoms of this dementia may lead to difficulty placing words or pictures into categories.


Who gets frontotemporal dementia?

Frontotemporal dementia usually begins between 40 to 65 years of age, although it can affect anyone at any age. About one-third to half of people with this type of dementia have a family history of the disease. A person who inherits it, seems to have a mutation in a gene. Other risk factors are less well known.

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