Behavioural Variant Frontotemporal Dementia (bvFTD)

bvFTD is the most common form of the frontotemporal dementias. It mostly affects the front of our brain, called the frontal lobes. Our frontal lobes are important in helping us in a number of ways including;

  • when we need to carry out something, for example in going to the supermarket, our frontal lobes are responsible for helping us to
    • recognise that we have no food in the fridge
    • plan our route and work out what we need to buy,
    • starting off in the car or catching the bus,
    • keeping our attention on what we need to do
    • monitoring so that we know when we’ve achieved what we want to and;
    • finishing our shopping trip and returning home
  • Knowing how to behave with people we are close to or in public situations, for example;
    • Knowing how someone we care about might be feeling
    • Knowing that saying things about other people’s appearance in public may not be the right thing to do


bvFTD impacts upon these functions, beginning with early changes in empathy and social behaviour. People with bvFTD are sometimes unaware of the impact of their behaviour on others and some families describe believing that their relationship was breaking down and that the person no longer wanted to be with them before finally realising that something was seriously wrong. The factsheet which can be found here; provides information on the common symptoms experienced by people who are living with bvFTD. This includes information about prognosis along with links to other factsheets describing treatment, diagnosis and supportive organisations. The website also provides information on FTD associated with Motor Neurone Disease and FTD with Parkinsonism.


There are a number of people who have provided written accounts of their experience of living with bvFTD. These can be found here;


Person living with bvFTD:


Family members/ supporters of a person living with bvFTD: