Denise Grady’s article, The Vanishing Mind: When Illness Makes a Spouse a Stranger, published as part of a series in the New York Times, discusses a rare form of dementia that affects between approximately 50, 000 and 60,000 people in the United States.
Frontotemporal dementia, also called Pick’s disease, is “…a little-known, poorly understood and frequently misdiagnosed group of brain diseases that eat away at personality and language. Although it was first recognized more than 100 years ago, there is still no cure or treatment, and patients survive an average of only eight years after the diagnosis.”
See the article here (or click the link with the video above) to read about the incredible strides being made toward a disease that is often called more devastating than Alzheimer’s – because it strikes younger people, progresses faster, and begins with bizarre personality changes as opposed to initially affecting memory – and to hear the story of Michael and Ruth French, a couple struggling with Michael’s dementia diagnosis.
For more specific information about Frontotemporal dementia, consult the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website here.