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Updated: Mar 6, 2023

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a type of dementia that affects the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain.

These lobes are responsible for a range of cognitive and behavioral functions, such as decision-making, personality, language, and social behavior.

FTD is caused by damage to nerve cells in the brain, leading to a gradual deterioration in these cognitive and behavioral functions. The symptoms of FTD can vary depending on the specific subtype of the disease, but commonly include changes in personality, difficulty with language, social withdrawal, and impaired judgment.

There are several subtypes of FTD, each with different clinical presentations and underlying causes. These subtypes include behavioral variant FTD (bvFTD), semantic variant primary progressive aphasia (svPPA), and non-fluent variant primary progressive aphasia (nfvPPA), among others.

FTD typically affects people at a younger age than other forms of dementia, with symptoms often starting in their 50s or 60s. Unfortunately, there is no cure for FTD, but there are treatments available to manage the symptoms and improve quality of life for those affected by the disease.

Can we prevent it?

There are some strategies that may help reduce the risk of developing the condition or delay its onset. These strategies include:

  1. Staying mentally and socially active: Engaging in mentally and socially stimulating activities, such as reading, learning new skills, socializing with others, and volunteering, may help reduce the risk of cognitive decline and FTD.

  2. Adopting a healthy lifestyle: Eating a balanced and healthy diet, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and managing stress may help maintain brain health and reduce the risk of developing FTD.

  3. Managing underlying health conditions: Managing underlying health conditions, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, may help reduce the risk of FTD.

  4. Avoiding head injuries: Traumatic brain injuries have been linked to an increased risk of developing FTD. Taking precautions to prevent head injuries, such as wearing a helmet during sports or when riding a bike, may help reduce the risk of FTD.

While these strategies may not completely prevent FTD, they can help improve overall health and reduce the risk of developing the condition. It's important to consult with a healthcare provider for personalized recommendations and to address any concerns about FTD or cognitive decline.

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