In frontotemporal dementia, the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain shrink.

A variety of mutations on several different genes have been linked to specific subtypes of frontotemporal dementia. However, more than half the people who develop frontotemporal dementia have no family history of dementia.

Frontotemporal lobar degeneration is divided into two subtypes, one involving the accumulation in the brain of a protein called tau and one involving the protein TDP-43.

In some cases, the affected parts of the brain contain microscopic abnormal tau protein-filled structures that develop within brain cells (Pick bodies).

Frontotemporal dementia was once known as Pick's disease, but now that terminology is reserved for the subtype that actually features these abnormal structures.

Jul. 25, 2014

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