Frontotemporal dementia involves a diverse range of conditions which are a cause of young onset dementia. There is selective brain atrophy in the frontal and temporal lobes, which requires brain magnetic resonance imaging for accurate diagnosis. Approximately one-quarter of cases are caused by mutations in one of three major causative genes.
Frontotemporal dementia is often associated with other neurological impairments, such as parkinsonism or motor neurone disease. Memory and navigational skills may often be maintained initially. The condition usually presents as progressive aphasia or disintegration of personality (which may be misdiagnosed as a psychiatric disorder).
Treatment is mostly supportive. Patients and families require counselling, help with future planning and the involvement of social and mental health services.
Warren, JD. Rohrer, JD. [and] Rossor, MN. (2013). Frontotemporal dementia. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), August 6th 2013, Vol.347, f4827. (Click here to view the PubMed record).
[A brief reference to this item features in Dementia and Elderly Care: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWNHST), Volume 3 Issue 9, August 2013].