Treatment For Pick's Disease

Health & Medical Blog

Pick's disease, also known as frontotemporal dementia (FTD), shrinks the frontal and anterior temporal lobes of the brain, causing nerve cell damage. Although no treatment to date slows the progression of FTD or reverses the damage to the brain, if you have a loved one with frontotemporal dementia, doctors can prescribe medications to help manage the symptoms. However, it's important to be clear about both the benefits and potential side effects of medications prescribed to treat symptoms of FTD. You should also ask the doctor what particular symptoms a medication is intended to treat.

Symptoms of FTD

Symptoms of FTD can vary significantly from one individual to the next but may involve memory loss, changes in behavior, and/or impaired ability to communicate.

Behavior/personality changes. While a person with FTD may be impulsive or appear indifferent, individuals who fall into this clinical category of the syndrome may:

  • Have decreased energy and motivation

  • Engage in repetitive or compulsive behaviors

  • Become highly agitated

  • Demonstrate inappropriate social behaviors

  • Lack empathy for others

  • Crave sweet foods

  • Exhibit an increasing loss of control

  • Lose interest in his or her personal hygiene

Language problems. Some individuals with FTD have difficulty with verbal language. Speech problems may be mild, moderate, or severe. When a person's ability to communicate is affected, he or she may have trouble:

  • Producing speech

  • Understanding language

  • Expressing needs

  • Answering questions

Often, a person with Pick's disease/FTD, eventually loses the ability to communicate, as the messages from the brain to the mouth and tongue are cut off, leaving the individual unable to speak.


  1. Antidepressants – specifically selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) – are used to treat the loss of impulse control and may help relieve symptoms of apathy, anxiety, and depression. Although currently there are no treatments for FTD approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), this class of drugs generally is considered safe for use in individuals with dementia.

  2. Antipsychotic drugs are used to treat aggression, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, auditory and visual hallucinations, and delusions in individuals with FTD. While these medications have a sedating effect and can produce some serious adverse side effects, including involuntary facial tics, cardiac arrhythmia, and seizures, when antidepressants prove ineffective in treating FTD symptoms, antipsychotics may help. Doctors usually begin by prescribing low doses and then slowly increase the amount to reach the minimal effective dose.

  3. Bromocriptine, a drug used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease, sometimes is used to treat aphasia – the inability to understand or express thoughts through verbal or written communication – in FTD patients. In some cases, the drug helps to improve language functions.

  4. Cholinesterase inhibitors – an approved treatment for memory problems in Alzheimer's patients – are sometimes prescribed to treat dementia symptoms in individuals with FTD, especially when the diagnosis is unclear. In some cases, these medications may temporarily improve apathy and language difficulties.

Behavior Modification

Although medications may be successful at improving some symptoms of FTD, behavior modification is another treatment available for addressing difficult behaviors related to the syndrome. Speech therapy is a treatment option for individuals with language difficulties due to FTD. Contact a company like Allegheny Brain And Spine Surgeons for more information.


12 April 2016

Allergy Relief: You Have More Options Than You Think

As a child, I used to spend my days roaming through the woods. I climbed trees, smelled the flowers, and laid in the grass looking at the clouds. My love for nature continued through my teen years, but when I turned 23, I began to sneeze whenever I left my home. I could no longer enjoy my outdoor hikes and I started taking antihistamines so I could at least open my windows on warm days. My allergies got worse though and I met with an allergist who completed a variety of skin tests. I started receiving allergy shots and my allergist taught me about natural cleaning processes and sinus rinses. The injections and natural treatments improved my quality of life greatly. Even if you do not want to start allergy injections, you have a variety of options that can lessen your symptoms, and you should learn what these options are.