Frontotemporal dementia with motor neuron disease


Type of disease: Rare conditions

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) describes a group of conditions associated with shrinking or degeneration of a portion of the brain (known as the frontal and temporal anterior lobes). This group of diseases is characterized by a decline in either behavior or language. Behavioral changes include boredom, impulsivity, distractibility, compulsive behaviors whereas language difficulties involve difficulty speaking and understanding. Memory is typically unaffected. Motor neuron disease (MND) affects nerve cells which control walking, talking, breathing and swallowing. Frontotemporal Dementia with Motor Neuron Disease (FTD-MND) is a combination of these two disorders and is currently considered a variant or subtype of FTD though disease classification for both groups is under ongoing research. Symptoms of FTD-MND include: difficulty speaking and swallowing, choking risk (aspiration), limb and muscle weakness. Although exact causes of all FTD diseases are still being studied, some cases appear to be inherited (passed through families by an error in the genetic code) but other times the cause is unknown. Outlook after diagnosis remains poor and treatment is limited but focused on specific symptom management. There is a lot of research being done in this field and it may be helpful to reach out to a support group specializing in FTD. (visit also: Frontotemporal dementia. and Motor neuron disease.)

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