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FTD Frontal Temporal Dementia

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a group of disorders caused by progressive cell degeneration in the brain's frontal lobes (the areas behind your forehead) or its temporal lobes (the regions behind your ears). About frontal temporal dementia

The cell damage caused by frontal temporal dementia leads to tissue shrinkage and reduced function in the brain's frontal and temporal lobes, which control planning and judgment; emotions, speaking and understanding speech; and certain types of movement.

FTD includes a range of specific disorders with different core symptoms. But there's significant symptom overlap, especially as these disorders progress. The disorders grouped under FTD fall into three broad categories (discussed below). Scientists have identified a range of microscopic brain abnormalities implicated in FTD. The overall term for the brain cell damage and tissue shrinkage associated with FTD is frontal temporal lobar degeneration.

FTD used to be called Pick's disease after Arnold Pick, a physician who in 1892 first described a patient with distinct symptoms affecting language. Some doctors still use the term "Pick's disease." Other terms you may see used to describe FTD include frontotemporal disorders, frontotemporal degeneration and frontal lobe disorders.

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My mother has this. FTD is one description of a dementia. It is a umbrella term. Under this umbrella are a number of specific dementias. My mother's specific dementia is called Pick's disease.  It took a long time to get a diagnosis. For years we were told she had dementia. Ok now what?  Well one Dr. tried to tell us that she had Alzheimer's but we didn't believe her. She expected us to not believe her because no one ever does the first time they hear it. We knew she didn't have it because we had seen our uncle, mother's brother, go through Alzheimer's and we knew what it looked like.  However after that she fell and at the hospital they told us that she had Alzheimer's, so we put her in an Alzheimer's unit. After 7 months they told us she absolutely did not have Alzheimer's. Dementia yes, Alzheimer's no. Ok glad we're all on the same page now. Up until now we have had her living in an apartment with companion care. Because she is on government assistance we were only given a certain number of hours which was highly inadequate. That lasted about 3 years. Until recently she was able to walk with a walker, get herself to the bathroom, change her own Depends and manage her oral care and dentures. She couldn't cook but she could eat and enjoyed doing so. She was able to sit up in bed, sit at a table and sit outside for an hour or more looking at flowers and enjoying the sun. However, that has all changed. She no longer can sit up, she lies down in bed all day long and mostly slouched over. She can't pick herself up to get adjusted. She can't get her self to the bathroom, worse she can't change her own Depends anymore. She won't eat and we think she probably can't eat. When people stop eating, stop wanting food you know the will to live is gone. When that deteriorates, the end is nigh. We have just determined it's time to get her into a skilled nursing facility. This kind of stinks because we don't have the money for the big fancy places. The places where we would like to put her. We have to rely on government assistance. There are some nice enough places near her on the Cape however it would be better if we could be nearer to her. It's an hour and half to go see her, 10 minutes would be better. We are on a wait list at one of the fancier places near me. Most of those places will take a patient or two on government assistance but you are at their mercy. We need to do something now.  To be continued...

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