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Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) 

  • effects primarily the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain and has a more rapid progression than the other subtypes of dementia [6]

  • neuropathology shows marked lobar atrophy of the frontal and temporal lobes as shown here [6]

    Dr. John Woulfe, Department of Neuropathology, University of Ottawa

  • Pick’s Disease is one type of FTD; the cerebral cortex has ballooned cells called Pick cells with intraneuronal inclusions called Pick bodies [6]

  • symptoms show behavioural changes such as as loss of social awareness, disinhibition and other frontal release signs such as the grasp sign on physical exam

  • cause is still unknown, however there is a strong genetic component as FTD tends to run in families and approximately 40% of cases are believed to be hereditary [2]

  • more information can be obtained from the Pick’s Disease Support Group



2. Alzheimer Society of Canada. Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias (

6. Tolnay M, Probst A. Frontotemporal lobar degeneration. An update on clinical, pathological and genetic findings. Gerontology, 2001; 47(1)1-8.

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