Frontotemporal Dementia of FTD is a much lesser common dementia type compared to Alzheimer’s. FTD is also referred to as the Dementia (Frontal Lobe) or Pick’s disease. The condition surfaces when the temporal cells or the frontal lobes cells of the human brain or both of them, are somehow damaged. The frontal lobe of the human brain is responsible for the development of planning, problem-solving abilities. It also controls the behavioral and emotional activities and creates personality.
However, the temporal lobes may also be affected by FTD. Temporal lobes lie on either side of the brain, and they mainly deal with speech, ability to ascertain meanings of words, help to recognize objects and faces.
Therefore, those with FTD may at times, go through sudden mood changes, which are not normal for them. They may turn extremely impulsive, lose social inhibitions, feel excessive apathetic or may lose interest in the emotions of others or may stop socializing.
Thought a few of these symptoms are pretty similar to the other types of dementia that are more frequent, for instance, Alzheimer’s, but FTD differs from Alzheimer’s.
With a view to differentiating FTD from the Alzheimer’s researchers attached to Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospitaland the Brain and Spine Institute of Paris conducted research to find how FTD affects moral human emotions.
The results clearly showed that FTD quite drastically reduces the clarity of human emotions, making them blunt and blurred. It has also revealed that moral emotions are more impaired by FTD than non-moral emotions. On the other hand, Alzheimer’s was found to have no effect on moral or non-moral emotions. Patients with Alzheimer’s were found to have the same emotional sensibility as normal people without Alzheimer’s or FTD.
It is expected that the study will pave the way for more distinctive diagnosis of FTD and will be able to more clearly differentiate between FTD and Alzheimer’s.