The researchers uncovered an indicator and a new tool for testing frontotemporal dementia that could aid in distinguishing this condition from Alzheimer’s disease. Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a less common type of dementia than Alzheimer’s disease. This is also known as Pick’s disease or frontal lobe dementia. This condition happens when the brain cells in the temporal and frontal lobes are damaged.
The forehead lobes of a person’s brain are responsible for controlling emotions, planning, problem-solving, and behavior. FTD can also affect temporal lobes, which are located on both sides of the brain and deal with speech, the meaning of words, and the recognition of faces or objects.
In addition to language problems, DFT also leads to changes in personality and behavior. For example, people with FTD may experience mood swings that they do not regularly attribute. They may act more impetuously, lose their social embarrassment, feel apathetic or lose interest in the emotions or the socialization of others.
Although some of these symptoms are alike to other more common forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease, DFT is different from Alzheimer’s disease. In an attempt to differentiate FTD from Alzheimer’s disease, researchers at the Brain and Spine Institute and the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital based in Paris, France pledged to examine how the moral emotions are affected by FTD.
Marc Teichmann is the lead author of the article in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. Moral emotions depict sentimental experiences that support group cohesion and collaboration,” explained Teichmann and his colleagues. These emotions include shame, admiration, or grief.
For example, a particular situation may arouse moral admiration, for example, for the generosity of a person, but another non-moral situation can arouse admiration for a beautiful painting. Teichmann and his colleagues gave the test to 15 people with Alzheimer’s disease, 22 people with FTD, and 45 people without the disease. The results of the study could lead to more accurate diagnoses for FTD and allow health professionals to make a more specific distinction between FTD and Alzheimer’s disease.