In patients with FTD, the clinical syndromes reflect the specific areas of degeneration. This degeneration, in turn, is most often caused by a group of closely related histopathologies called frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). This disease spectrum has begun to help build a better understanding of how social, emotional and executive functions are organized.
Advanced Anatomy and Biology
FTD is often mistaken for Alzheimer's disease, psychiatric problems or even Parkinson's disease. The first step is to rule out alternative explanations for the signs and symptoms. Once the differential diagnosis has been explored, you can look to confirm FTD.
Treatments and Clinical Trials
While there is not yet a disease-modifying treatment treatment for FTD, many of the symptoms can be managed either pharmaceutically or behaviorally. Monitored for concurrent illnesses which can be treated and, therefore, reduce behavioral symptoms.
Practice your diagnostic skills by trying to determine the correct clinical syndrome before reading the answer.
Caring for Your FTD Patients
When patients and families hear "dementia", they are often scared, sad and angry. You will need to treat these emotional needs and reactions, as well as the neurological ones. Having some resources on hand to give to the family can greatly help them find support and help. You should also be aware of cultural differences that may affect attitudes and decision-making about health care, medications, surgery, experimental or alternative treatments, or autopsy.
End of Life Care
End of life care for people with FTD can be difficult. Many assisted living or nursing homes do not want to accept younger, stronger patients with behavior problems. Furthermore, encourage your patients and their family to begin end of life planning as early as possible so the person with FTD can participate in the decisions.