In addition to the muscle weakness and wasting, MND also presents with non-motor symptoms, one of the most common being cognitive change.
Research has already shown that changes can occur to the nerve cells in the frontal and temporal lobe areas of the brain. These are the two areas which are responsible for controlling thinking, reasoning and behaviour.
Frontotemporal dementia, or FTD for short, is a rare form of dementia (cognitive impairment). One sub-type of FTD is sometimes found in people who have MND.
The first ever World FTD Awareness week is being held between 4-11 October.
To help raise awareness we are posting a series of blogs this week looking at FTD and research we are funding into this condition.
What is FTD?
The main symptoms of FTD are linked to behavioural and mood changes, such as loss of inhibitions, being unable to empathise with others, or showing repetitive behaviours.
Many people with FTD also have changes to their speech and vocabulary, such as using the wrong word for something – for example calling a sheep a dog, or becoming less articulate in their speech. Some people can also gradually lose their ability to speak.
Thinking can also be affected, with FTD affecting someone’s ability to plan properly and their organisational skills.
FTD is brought about by nerve cells within the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain dying, because the pathways connecting the nerve cells to each other become altered. The chemical messengers that pass on information from one nerve to another can sometimes also be lost.
More information on FTD can be found on the NHS website, FTD Talk website or on the FTD support forum.
There are also two information sheets that the Association produce covering changes to thinking: ‘Will the way I think be affected?‘ and ‘How do I support someone if the way they think is affected?‘.
Healthcare professionals can also access our resources on cognitive change, FTD and MND on the ‘For professionals’ area on our website. Continue reading