Frontotemporal dementia, also known as Pick’s disease, is an uncommon form of the fatal brain degeneration.
It begins specifically in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain, which control people’s speech and behaviour.
It is caused by nerve cells dying in the temporal lobes – on either side of the brain – and as more and more tissue dies the brain begins to shrink.
The death of the cells, and changes in electrical signals in the brain, can cause people’s behaviour and personality to change.
The condition is not thought to have as big an impact on the memory as Alzheimer’s disease, because a different part of the brain is affected.
Frontotemporal dementia is thought to affect men and women equally, and is most often diagnosed in people aged between 45 and 65.
There is no cure and treatment is focused on caring for patients and trying to manage their symptoms.
The youngest person to be diagnosed with Frontotemporal Dementia in the UK is a 31 year old female.