Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD)

Frontotemporal dementia is a form of dementia affecting, as the name suggests, the frontal and/ or temporal lobes of our brain. These are the parts of our brain that control significant aspects of our everyday functions. For instance the frontal lobe controls;

  • Emotions,
  • planning, monitoring and stopping behaviour,
  • the ability to understand other’s perspectives
  • thinking skills
  • movement and;
  • word production.

Our temporal lobes control

  • language understanding and;
  • Emotion

They also have a role in memory. FTD is therefore very different from more common forms of dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease. FTD causes a gradual and progressive change in behaviour and/ or language. FTD is also sometimes referred to as Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration (FTLD), Frontotemporal Lobar Dementia or Picks disease.

FTD most commonly occurs in people between the ages of 45 and 64 and around 12% of people with a young onset dementia will have FTD. However it also occurs less commonly in people younger and older than this. A factsheet is available on FTD from this website FTD Talk . This factsheet covers the following information;

  • What is FTD?
  • What causes it?
  • What are the common types of FTD?
  • What are the symptoms of FTD?
  • How is it diagnosed?
  • What is the treatment?
  • What is the prognosis?
  • What support is available?

As the factsheet explains, FTD is an umbrella term for a number of different types of dementia. These are;

  • Behavioural Variant Frontotemporal Dementia (bvFTD)
  • Primary Progressive Aphasia
  • Progressive non-fluent Aphasia
  • Semantic Dementia (can these 4 points be hyperlinks to the relevant types of dementia please?)

Further information about these forms of dementia can be found by clicking the types listed above.

In addition FTD Talk has information on FTD which is inherited. In some people, FTD may be caused by a genetic problem and is referred to as familial FTD. This information sheet provides information on;

  • What familial FTD is
  • How likely it would be to inherit it
  • How it would be diagnosed
  • What can I do if a relative has familial FTD
  • What support is there available
  • Research

Finally, there are a number of websites that can provide useful information about FTD including;

  • (UK based website, with some regional support groups)
  • (US based website which includes a Facebook page, a forum and a support group for spouses)
  • http://www.aftdkidsandteens. org/ (US based website for children and young people affected by FTD)