Types of FTD

Behavior Changes  Possible Symptoms  Things you can do
Behavioral Variant FTD

Also called:
Frontotemporal dementia
Pick’s disease


-Loss of interest in things and people; apathy
-Inability to empathize
-Difficulty in organization, planning
-Difficulty in reasoning, judgment
-Loss of social “filter;” disinhibition; inappropriate comments or actions (outbursts of frustration, touching strangers, urinating in public)
-Repetitive or compulsive behaviors including hoarding or “getting stuck” on the same activity (tapping, pacing, sorting things)
-Change in appetite (overeating)
-Lack of awareness
-Lack of concern for personal appearance or hygiene
-Inability to handle frustration; angry or aggressive behavior
-Help the person get started by doing something with them; use actions to draw them in rather than words.
-Follow a consistent routine as much as possible; post a daily schedule for the person to follow.
-Divide tasks into small, simpler steps
-Choose quieter, less stimulating settings; talk calmly, be reassuring, smile.
-Step in and be firm to guide the person from inappropriate conversations or actions; say “Thank you, we have to go now” and guide away.
-Carry AFTD “awareness cards” and offer in public rather than trying to explain the situation.
-Ignore behaviors that are annoying or odd, but not harmful.
-Tell a trusted adult about potential hazards and risky behavior you notice; help limit access to food, keep home free of power tools, guns, and other harmful things.
-Leave the room if person is angry, yelling or aggressive; don’t correct them or argue. Get help if you feel unsafe.
Language Changes Possible Symptoms Things you can do
Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA)

-Nonfluent agrammatic PPA
-Semantic variant PPA
-Logopenic variant PPA

-Loss of ability to generate words
-Ability to read and write is impaired
-Slow speech
-Difficulty understanding the meaning of words.
-Decline in language comprehension
-Some people can speak fluently, but lose the meaning of words and concepts.
-Difficulty with sentence and phrase repetition
-Speak slowly, use simple sentences.  Ask them yes / no or specific questions rather than open-ended.Be patient while the person answers.
-Minimize background noise or distractions and stress, all of which make it harder for the person to communicate.
-Most communication is not words!  Use different ways to send your message (facial expressions, gestures, drawing, gentle touches). People respond more to non-verbal cues. Smile.
-Cue the person to say more so you understand; “Tell me about it,” “What does it look like?” “What do you do with it?”
Movement/Motor Changes Possible Symptoms Things you can do
Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP)Corticobasal Syndrome (CBS)FTD + Motor Neuron Disease (MND)
(MND, also known as ALS)
-Difficulty controlling & coordinating eye movements
-Loss of balance, frequent falls
-Stiff or rigid movements
-Difficulty swallowing
-Slowness of movements
-Muscle weakness

-Encourage the use of canes, walkers, wheelchairs as needed. Help to hold or carry or hand things if they cannot.
-Keep common areas of the house free of clutter on the floor.
-Slow down yourself; unexpected or quick movement may throw off the person’s balance.
-Do activities with the person that will help them stay as active as possible; a physical therapist can make suggestions.