Frontotemporal Dementia raises diagnostic difficulties, experts struggle to differentiate from depression and bipolar disorder

Frontotemporal Dementia raises diagnostic difficulties | Credits: Google
Frontotemporal Dementia raises diagnostic difficulties | Credits: Google

United States: Frontotemporal dementia, also known as FTD, is a neurogenetic condition that occurs in regions of the brain that enable behavior and speech. As the disease progresses, these parts of the brain no longer work, and they become gradually smaller.

FTD most commonly happens to people in their forties, fifties, and early sixties. It may result in a change of personality with unrestrained impulses or inadequate behaviors.

It can be very difficult to distinguish between depression and bipolar disorder, and the condition may be diagnosed only years after the first onset of symptoms, as ABC News reported.

It is tough to diagnose – Experts

Brenda Rapp, the leading cognitive scientist at Johns Hopkins University, stated, “It’s a really tough diagnosis, I have to tell you.”

She added, “Maybe you’re doing things that are bothering people, and you don’t really understand why they’re bothering people.”

She further mentioned that it can be frustrating for everyone experiencing that, as ABC News reported.

The latest case of FTD came to light 

TV host Wendy Williams had dementia of a certain kind because doctors made a statement clearing that up on Thursday, December 8.

The famous talk show host (59-year-old), who was diagnosed in 2018 with primary progressive aphasia and FTD, received that diagnosis after having undergone numerous medical tests, the statement read.

Reason for Primary progressive aphasia and FTD

The disease commonly includes primary progressive aphasia, which is responsible for language impairment. An individual who has this type of FTD will likely have problems with finding words or understanding speech.

It results from the destruction of neurons, the brain cells that convey information, yet the reasons causing a particular case are frequently unknown.

According to ABC News reports, the risk of the disease is higher among those who have a family history of the disease. However, the majority of people who have FTD have no family history of dementia.

About the treatment of FTD

FTD does not have a cure but there are ways for how to manage with it.

As a result, those affected may be offered speech therapy if they have been diagnosed with a language disability. They may also be subjected to physical therapy that enables movement.

Some of the patients are prescribed antidepressants or Parkinson’s drugs whose symptoms are similar to FTD.

FTD is often a prolonged disease, ranging from two years to a decade. People with FTD will progressively need considerable caregiving and nursing assistance for continued survival.

Rapp added, “The disease will spread throughout the brain,” and, “The rate at which it does that is extremely unpredictable. So it’s very hard to know … how quickly someone will deteriorate,” as ABC News reported.

The economy of the family could be immense. An average yearly out-of-pocket health care expenses & long-term care costs for a person with dementia, according to Alzheimer’s Association estimates, is $10000.