Symptoms of brain-related disorders are often misunderstood. Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is especially challenging. As a result of this disorder, family members and friends may sense that the person has changed, but they can’t put their finger on the cause. They may find that a person is being thoughtless or no longer cares about them. Resulting feelings of anger and sadness may lead typically supportive family or friends to distance themselves at a time when the person with the disorder needs them most. It is important to understand that people with these disorders cannot control their behaviors and other symptoms.
If your relative or friend is acting in a way that doesn’t seem normal to you, it could possibly be due to FTD. If they are exhibiting the symptoms below, help them find a local expert to test for Frontotemporal disorders. Following are a list of symptoms that someone with FTD may be experiencing:
“Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a group of related conditions resulting from the progressive degeneration of the temporal and frontal lobes of the brain. These areas of the brain play a significant role in decision-making, behavioral control, emotion and language” (UCSF Memory & Aging Center). Fortunately there is growing awareness of this devastating disease. Early detection can help the person living with the disorder to find treatment sooner. A diagnosis will hasten the ability of family and friend caregivers to gain valuable information and compassion for their loved one and for themselves.
For more information see these resources:
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Memory & Aging Center
FCA fact sheet: Is This Dementia and What Does it Mean?
Family Caregiver Alliance © 2014