Frontotemporal dementia tends to occur at a younger age than Alzheimer's disease and can affect both men and women. The average length of the disease can vary. This type of dementia resembles Alzheimer's disease in that it also involves a progressive degeneration of brain cells that is irreversible.
With this form of dementia, a person may have symptoms such as sudden onset of memory loss, behaviour changes, or difficulties with speech and movement.
Unlike Alzheimer's disease, which generally affects most areas of the brain, frontotemporal dementia is an umbrella term for a group of rare disorders that primarily affect the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain – the areas generally associated with personality and behaviour. In some cases, brain cells in these areas shrink or die. In other cases, the brain cells in these areas get larger, containing round, silver "Pick's bodies". Pick's disease refers to a subtype of frontotemporal dementia that has these specific abnormalities. In frontotemporal dementia, the changes in the brain affect the person's ability to function. Researchers estimate that approximately two to five per cent of all dementia cases are frontotemporal dementia.
Other names often used for frontotemporal dementia, in addition to Pick's disease, include:
Frontal Lobe dementia
Primary progressive aphasia
Read more about Frontotemporal dementia here