What is Frontal Lobe Dementia?

Written by Active Minds on Thursday the 22nd of August 2019.

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Frontal lobe dementia, often considered under the wider umbrella term of Frontotemporal dementia, occurs when the frontal lobes of the brain begin to shrink resulting in changes in behaviour and personality. Whilst Alzheimer’s usually affects people aged 65 and over, as is common with other types of dementia, frontotemporal dementia commonly develops between the ages of 45 and 55 and is responsible for around 10-15% of all dementia cases.  Here we will discuss some of the ways frontal lobe dementia may affect your loved one, and ways to deal with the changes which may occur on their journey.

Effects

Changes in both behaviour and personality are some of the most common effects in a person living with frontotemporal or frontal lobe dementia. The frontal lobes of the brain are responsible for behavioural regulation, which is why when they shrink it can result in noticeable changes such as language and speech difficulties, memory issues, lack of motivation and sometimes impulsive behaviours. Often those living with frontotemporal dementia can see speech therapists and may even be prescribed anti-depressants to combat feelings of low motivation. Speaking to a GP about these changes may be necessary.

It is advisable that when your loved one begins on their dementia journey, that they are as comfortable as possible and situations around them don’t change too much, this will help in reducing confusion and stress. It may however be necessary to seek professional care should your loved one require further assistance.

Living with Frontotemporal Dementia

When living with frontotemporal dementia, there are still many ways to stay physically and mentally active, and live a life both independently and well. Whilst behavioural changes may make things such as social situations more difficult in the later stages, with the right care and understanding, there is no reason someone with frontal lobe dementia cannot lead a fulfilling and active life.

Social Situations

Frontal lobe dementia can affect speech and therefore make social situations more challenging and frustrating, it’s important to remain as positive and patient as possible when communication difficulties or behaviour changes occur. This will help your loved one to remain comfortable as they move along their dementia journey.

Behavioural Changes

It can be difficult to come to terms with behavioural changes in your loved one, but it’s important to remember that your loved one is still there and values your presence and patience. An important part of managing frontotemporal dementia is taking in to account alterations which may be needed for your loved ones lifestyle and environment to ensure it is as comfortable and stress free as possible.

Getting Help

Should your loved one be living with frontal lobe dementia, behavioural changes, speech and memory difficulties may lead to increased care needs. It is important that as your loved one progresses along their dementia journey, that these needs are met, whether through therapists, doctors or perhaps by considering full time care. There are many different support systems available to help you and your loved one along their dementia journey.