I suffered Traumatic Brain Injury some years back, and are very in touch with my level of cognitive functioning. MRI’s, neuro-psych evaluations among other testing indicates I suffer from declining memory, retaining new information.
I tell friends I can remember better what happened in 1986 than what happened yesterday. I’m not writing for empathy, as I am still capable of. I’m writing this blog and participating in many activities, so as far as I am concerned, I am just fine.
However, whether you suffered TBI or approaching seniority it’s important to learn what you can do to keep your mind sharp.
It’s also important to understand what memory loss means or doesn’t mean. What lack of coordination means or doesn’t mean. The NBC slogan “The more you know” says it all. You never can have too much information when it comes to your health. Regardless of your socioeconomic standing, if you don’t have your health you don’t have anything.
Accordingly below is an introduction to Dementia in its many forms. It afflicts many people and most of us know someone who suffers from it. This particular article is mostly about Frontotemporal lobe dementia
Dementia is a general term for loss of memory and other mental abilities severe enough to interfere with everyday life. It’s caused by physical changes in the mind. Alzheimer’s is the most frequent type of dementia, but there are many types.
The nerve cell damage caused by frontotemporal dementia leads to a reduction of function in these brain regions, which variably bring about deterioration in behavior, character and/or difficulty with creating or understanding language.
There are a number of different ailments that cause frontotemporal degeneration. The two most prominent are 1) a group of brain disorders involving the protein tau and 2) a group of brain disorders involving the protein known as TDP43. For reasons that aren’t yet understood, both of these classes have a taste for the frontal and temporal lobes that cause dementia.
The disorders grouped under frontotemporal dementia fall into three subtypes(discussed below).
Frontotemporal dementia used to be known as Pick’s disease after Arnold Select, M.D., a doctor who in 1892 first described a patient with distinct symptoms affecting speech. Some physicians still use the expression”Pick’s disease.” Other conditions you might see used to describe frontotemporal dementia include frontotemporal disorders, frontotemporal degeneration, and frontal lobe disorders.
Behavior variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) is characterized by notable changes in personality and behavior which often occur in people in their 50s and 60s but can grow as early as their 20s or as late as their 80s. In behavior variant frontotemporal dementia, the neural cell loss is the most notable in areas that control behavior, judgment, compassion, and foresight, among other abilities.
Key differences between FTD and Alzheimer’s
Age at diagnosis may be an important hint. Many people with FTD are recognized in their 40s and early 60s. Alzheimer’s, on the other hand, grows more common with increasing age.
Memory loss tends to be much more prominent symptom in early Alzheimer’s than in early FTD, although advanced FTD often causes memory loss in addition to its characteristic effects on behavior and language.
Behavior changes are often the first noticeable symptoms in bvFTD, the most common form of FTD. Behavior changes are also common as Alzheimer’s advances, however, they tend to happen later in the disease.
Issues with spatial orientation — for example, becoming lost in familiar areas — are more prevalent in Alzheimer’s than in FTD.
Problems with speech: Although people with Alzheimer’s may have difficulty thinking of the right word or recalling names, they tend to have less difficulty making sense if they talk, understanding the speech of others, or even reading than people with FTD.
Hallucinations and delusions are rather common as Alzheimer’s progresses but comparatively rare in FTD.
Frontotemporal degenerations are inherited in about a third of cases. Genetic counseling and testing can be found now in individuals with relatives of frontotemporal degenerations. There are no known risk factors for almost any frontotemporal degenerations except for a family or a similar disease.
Treatment and results
There are no specific treatments for some of the frontotemporal subtypes. There are medicines that may reduce agitation, irritability and/or melancholy. These remedies should be utilized to improve the quality of life.
Frontotemporal dementia inevitably gets worse over the years and also the speed of decline differs from person to person. For many years, individuals with frontotemporal dementia show muscle weakness and coordination problems, leaving them needing a wheelchair — or bedbound. These muscle tissues can cause problems swallowing, chewing, moving and controlling bladder and/or bowels. Finally, people with frontotemporal degeneration die because of the bodily changes which could cause skin, urinary lung or liver infections.