Jump To Top


Dementia symptoms: Study identifies a new warning sign – what to look for in your partner

Dementia: Doctor outlines changes to help prevent disease

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

While the condition mainly affects elderly people, there are estimated to be more than 40,000 younger people in the UK affected by the illness. Signs and symptoms of FTD can be different from one individual to the next, but they typically get worse over time. According to a recent study, a loss of pleasure may be an early sign of FTD.

The author of the study, Professor Muireann Irish from the University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre, explained that this study is the first to explore how people with the condition experience pleasure.

Professor Irish said: “We found that patients with (FTD) showed a marked drop from their pre-dementia ratings to the current moment.

“We didn’t find the same striking loss of pleasure in patient’s with Alzheimer’s disease, which is quite interesting in itself.”

Professor Irish and her team used imaging technology to confirm that the loss of joy was related to the brain’s pleasure system deterioration.

She added: “We know people with FTD become extremely withdrawn, quite apathetic and lose interest in social engagements, in hobbies they used to pursue.

“They end up becoming very withdrawn and isolated. All these signs point to the fact that perhaps there is a blunting, or dampening of pleasure in these patients, and that’s exactly what we found in this study.”

The team of researchers hope the findings will encourage the development of new treatment therapies for FTD.

Professor Irish added: “It helps to understand that changes in behaviour are not the result of being difficult or being oppositional. It’s being driven by the brain.

“It’s not simply that your loved one is acting deliberately defiantly, it’s that the circuits in the brain that allow them to anticipate and respond positively to those experiences are not working properly.“

The condition, which typically affects people between the ages of 40 to 65, targets the parts of the brain associated with personality, behaviour and language.

Some people with FTD see dramatic changes in their personality and become socially inappropriate, impulsive or emotionally indifferent.

The condition is often misdiagnosed as a psychiatric problem or as Alzheimer’s disease.

According to the National office for statistics, dementia is the second biggest killer in the UK after heart disease.

Although there are some common symptoms of dementia, such as memory loss, specific symptoms often depend on the part of the brain affected by the condition.

Alzheimer’s disease, one of the most common causes of dementia, occurs when an abnormal protein surrounds brain cells, damaging their internal structure.

Problems with day-to-day memory tend to be one of the first signs of the condition, but other symptoms may include difficulty finding the right words, making decisions, or perceiving things in three-dimensions.

How to prevent dementia.

Although some dementia risk factors are impossible to change, such as age and genes, making some simple lifestyle tweaks could lower the risk of the condition. According to the NHS, these include:

Exercise: Older adults who do not exercise are more likely to have problems with memory or thinking.

Alcohol: Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol increases the risk of stroke, heart disease and some cancers, as well as damaging the nervous system, including the brain. The recommended limit is 14 units of alcohol per week.

Smoking: Smoking causes arteries to become narrower, which can raise blood pressure and increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Source: Read Full Article

  • Posted on July 29, 2021