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What is FTD?

Think It's Alzheimer's? Think Again.

Frontotemporal Degeneration (FTD) is a disease process that results in progressive damage to cells in areas of the brain called the frontal and temporal lobes.  Although rare, FTD is actually the most common cause of dementia for people under 60.


FTD typically affects people in their 40s and 50s, when few expect dementia. Distinct from Alzheimer’s, it causes dramatic changes in behaviour, personality, and/or language and movement   Memory is typically relatively preserved in FTD – at least at first.


Today, far too few people—including health professionals—know about FTD.  It is often initially misdiagnosed as a psychiatric problem, a movement disorder such as Parkinson’s disease, or Alzheimer’s. As a result, many families endure a long journey to an accurate diagnosis – nearly four years, on average.

As FTD progresses, it becomes increasingly difficult for people to plan or organize activities, behave appropriately in social or work settings, interact with others, and care for oneself, resulting in increasing dependency on caregivers. There are currently no treatments to slow or stop its progression.

Ask a Doctor About FTD


Changes in how people express their feelings towards others, a lack of understanding of other people's feelings, lack of interest or concern, becoming

disinhibited or behaving inapproprately.


Changes in humor or sexual behaviors, may become more aggressive, develop unusual beliefs, interests or obsessions, and may become impulsive or easily distracted.


Lacking social awareness, making inappropriate jokes. And, typical lack of awareness in any changes in their personality or behaviors.


Difficulty getting words out or understanding them. Repeating commonly used words and phrases or forget the meaning of words.


Stiff or twitching muscles, weakness, difficulty swallowing.


Problems with executive function of the brain, making plans & making  decisions. Changes in food preference, over eating or drinking.

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