According to the NINDS website, there are varying Frontotemporal disorders, or FTDs. As they stipulated:
Clinically, FTD is classified into two main types of syndromes:
- Behavioral Variant Frontotemporal Dementiacauses a person to undergo behavior and personality changes. People with this disorder may do impulsive things that are out of character, such as steal or be rude to others. They may engage in repetitive behavior (such as singing, clapping, or echoing another person’s speech). They may overeat compulsively; lose inhibitions, causing them to say or do inappropriate things (sometimes sexual in nature); or become apathetic and experience excessive sleepiness. While they may be cognitively impaired, their memory may stay relatively intact.
- Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA)causes a person to have trouble with expressive and receptive speaking—finding and/or expressing thoughts and/or words. Sometimes a person with PPA cannot name common objects. Problems with memory, reasoning, and judgment are not apparent at first but can develop and progress over time. PPA is a language disorder not to be confused with the aphasia that can result from a stroke. Many people with PPA, though not all, develop symptoms of Dementia. In one form of PPA, called Semantic PPA or Semantic Dementia, a person slowly loses the ability to understand single words and sometimes to recognize the faces of familiar people and common objects.
Other types of FTDs include:
- Frontotemporal Dementia with Parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17 (FTDP-17),a rare form of Dementia that is believed to be inherited from one parent and is linked to a defect in the gene that makes the tau protein. The three core features are behavioral and personality changes, cognitive impairment, and motor symptoms. People with this type of FTD often have delusions, hallucinations, and slowness of movement and tremor as seen in Parkinson’s disease. Typical behavioral/personality characteristics include apathy, defective judgment, and compulsive and abusive behavior. Diagnosis of the disorder requires the confirmed presence of clinical features and genetic analysis. Palliative and symptomatic treatments such as physical therapy are the mainstays of management.
- Pick’s disease,a tauopathy subtype of FTD characterized by hallmark Pick bodies—masses comprised of tau protein that accumulate inside nerve cells, causing them to appear enlarged or balloon-like. Some of the symptoms of this rare neurodegenerative disorder are similar to those of AD, including loss of speech, inappropriate behavior, and trouble with thinking. However, while inappropriate behavior characterizes the early stages of Pick’s disease, memory loss is often the first symptom of AD. Antidepressants and antipsychotics can control some of the behavioral symptoms of Pick’s disease, but no treatment is available to stop the disease from progressing.
Wow, scary right? For caregivers that sense that this is too much for them, it probably is. These FTDs are almost too much for many medical personnel in the field. If you do not believe that you can still represent the fact that With Age Comes Respect, this would be a good time to silently bow out and find a new career because these are not typical aging conditions, but rare and awful conditions that must be dealt with accordingly.