Diagnosis Pick's disease (Pick disease): What you need to know.

Pick's disease (Pick disease)is the best known form of Frontotemporal dementias. It results in the gradual loss of social skills and personality and may also include loss of language skills, impaired memory and judgment.

Brain cells are affected by abnormal deposits of the brain protein tau that damages cells in the frontal and temporallobes of the brain.

Pick's disease (Pick disease)is sometimes misdiagnosed initially as mental illness based on the behavioral changes that your family member shows. It typically appears between the ages of 50-65 years.

As the disease attacks the frontal lobes of the brain, your family member may exhibit unusual behaviors such as over eating or only wanting to eat one type of food. He may repeat the same activity or action over and over. The first symptom you notice may be that he may no longercares about personal hygiene and has to be reminded to bathe and change clothes.

Other symptoms are wandering and pacing. He may become aggressive. Some individuals become obsessed withsexual behavior. Your family member may act impulsively, overspending, stealing or taking things he wants.

Over time, your family member to become indifferent to your feelings and feelings of others.He may become appathetic and lack motivation. He will not realize that any of his behavior is inappropriate or out of character.

There is no treatment that can cure Pick's disease (Pick disease). Your family member may benefit from drugs that help control negative behaviors.

When the language center of the brain is damaged, your family member may experience difficulty speaking in understandable sentences, finding the right word for an object or misunderstand word meanings.

Things to consider when faced with a diagnosis of Pick's disease (Pick disease):

  1. Find a doctor who has experience dealing with frontal lobe dementias to manage your family member's care.
  2. Join a support group and consider ongoing one on one support from a professional to help you cope with the challenging behavior changes that your family member is undergoing.
  3. Build a long term plan of how you will care for your family member. Your family member's need for care will increase as the years passand challenging behaviors may prevent him from living at home.
  4. Put appropriate safeguards in place to prevent over spending, over eating and other self destructive behaviors.
To learn more about frontal lobe dementias, follow these links.

The Association for Frontotemporal Dementias

Leave the Pick's disease (Pick disease) Page & Go to the Frontal Lobe Dementia Page

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