Frontotemporal Dementia | Norton Healthcare Louisville, Ky.

Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD)

What Is FTD?

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) sometimes is called frontal lobe dementia. It affects the parts of the brain behind the forehead and causes behavior changes, difficulties with language or an inability to understand words or recognize familiar faces and objects. Unlike Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia typically does not affect memory or orientation to the same degree. Instead, there are significant changes in behavior and personality.

Frontotemporal dementia often runs in families and often develops at a younger age — 50s and 60s — than other forms of dementia.

The board-certified and fellowship-trained specialists at Norton Neuroscience Institute Memory Center are at the leading edge of advances in caring for those with frontotemporal dementia.

More patients in Louisville and Southern Indiana trust Norton Neuroscience Institute with their neurological care than any other provider in the area. Patients find a comprehensive range of board-certified specialists who provide a diversity of viewpoints to develop a customized care plan for each patient.

Frontotemporal Dementia Symptoms

The behavioral variant of frontotemporal dementia results in marked changes in behavior and personality and can be misdiagnosed as a psychiatric issue such as depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder. Or, the affected person can be seen as being selfish, rude or inappropriate. Behavior changes can be impulsive or apathetic. About half the frontotemporal dementia cases are of the behavioral variety.

Other symptoms include:

  • Behavioral changes such as hypersexuality, overeating or passivity
  • A sudden lack of empathy or caring for family and friends
  • Changes in ability to care for self (lack of bathing, not doing laundry, etc.)

Other forms of frontotemporal dementia cause impairments in language. Language effects can include difficulty making or understanding speech. Also known as non-fluent primary progressive aphasia, this form of frontotemporal dementia results in the brain having difficulty controlling the muscles needed to form speech.

The semantic variant affects the patient’s ability to understand words and recognize familiar faces and objects.

The variety of frontotemporal dementia depends on which parts of the frontal or temporal lobes are shrinking.

Frontotemporal Dementia Prognosis

Frontotemporal dementia progresses steadily with significant deterioration in less than two years for some and more than 10 years in others.

Eventually some with frontotemporal dementia will need 24-hour care either at home or in a specialized setting.

There are no treatments as yet that have been shown to slow the progress of frontotemporal dementia.

There is no current cure or medicine for frontotemporal dementia. It progresses slowly, but it will worsen over time. Treatment for symptoms may include:

  • Behavioral or cognitive therapy
  • Antidepressant medicine to help with anxiety, aggression or agitation
  • Lifestyle adjustments

Norton Neuroscience Institute Resource Center others offer resources to help families and individuals coping with frontotemporal dementia.

Care That’s Focused on You

  • We operate Norton Neuroscience Institute Resource Center — the area’s only center dedicated to helping you and your family navigate your lives after a stroke. The Norton Healthcare Foundation funds this important service, so patients don’t need to pay.
  • We have dedicated patient navigators who can help with transportation, schedule follow-up appointments and confirm that you can afford prescriptions.
  • We provide support groups and exercise classes, develop customized diet plans and can help with issues such as access to disability assistance, housing, and financial and employment advice.
  • At Norton Neuroscience Institute, we want to help you get better and well as prevent you from getting sick in the first place. Get help quitting smoking and learn the signs of stroke at Norton Healthcare Prevention & Wellness.
  • Communicate with your provider, manage appointments, refill prescriptions and more anytime from a computer or mobile device with a free MyNortonChart account.

About Norton Neuroscience Institute

More patients from Louisville and Southern Indiana seek treatment from Norton Neuroscience Institute’s nationally recognized neurologists and neurosurgeons than any other provider in the area.

  • We have more than 60 medical, surgical and research specialists dedicated to providing innovative care to those with brain, spine and nervous system conditions.
  • We use advanced minimally invasive neurosurgery equipment that speeds your recovery and minimizes pain.
  • Our multidisciplinary clinics offer easy access to specialists in oncology, cardiovascular, orthopedics,  and behavioral health.
  • Norton Healthcare has the largest network of accredited stroke centers in the area.
    • Norton Brownsboro Hospital’s designation as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by The Joint Commission and American Stroke Association represents the highest level of care.
    • The Joint Commission also certified Norton Audubon Hospital and Norton Hospital as Primary Stroke Centers and Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital as an Acute Stroke Ready Hospital.
  • Norton Neuroscience Institute Resource Center navigators help educate patients and their families about new diagnoses, available treatments and managing their disease.
  • We are nationally recognized by Becker’s Hospital Review as a Top 100 neurosurgery and spine program.
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