Around 12% of people under the age of 65 have frontotemporal dementia but it is less common in the over 65 age group. It most commonly occurs between the ages of 45-65.
What causes frontotemporal dementia?
Frontotemporal dementia is a group of conditions caused by the death of nerve cells and pathways in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. The damage to the brain is linked to abnormally forming proteins that interfere with communication between brain cells.
The main types of frontotemporal dementia are:
Behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia (also known as Pick’s)
Frontotemporal dementia is a progressive condition which affects behaviour and personality, which sometimes leads to disinhibition and inappropriate social behaviour. Eating patterns can also be affected, with people suddenly bingeing on food, especially sweet foods. This form of dementia can sometimes be confused with depression, stress, anxiety, psychosis or obsessive compulsive disorder.
In behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia initial symptoms may include:
changes in behaviour and personality
obsessive or repetitive behaviours
loss of empathy
changes in appetite and food eaten
difficulties with decision making, problem solving and concentration