Frontotemporal Dementia: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 12/3/2019

Fronotemporal dementia is a condition characterized by shrinking and decreased function of the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. It is believed to be a group of different diseases that share the degeneration of nerve cells in these areas of the brain. Examples of frontotemporal dementia include Pick's disease and semantic dementia.

Signs and symptoms associated with frontotemporal dementia fall into one of two categories: changes in behavior or problems with language. Symptoms and signs include

  • loss of empathy,
  • poor judgment,
  • socially inappropriate behavior,
  • lack of inhibition,
  • repetitive compulsive behavior,
  • inability to concentrate or plan,
  • speech difficulties,
  • memory loss,
  • neglect of personal hygiene,
  • agitation, and
  • blunted emotions.

Symptoms typically progress steadily and often rapidly.

Causes of frontotemporal dementia

Doctors do not understand the cause of frontotemporal dementia, but the condition often runs in families.

Other frontotemporal dementia symptoms and signs

  • Agitation
  • Blunted Emotions
  • Inability to Concentrate or Plan
  • Lack of Inhibition
  • Loss of Empathy
  • Memory Loss
  • Neglect of Personal Hygiene
  • Poor Judgment
  • Repetitive Compulsive Behavior
  • Socially Inappropriate Behavior
  • Speech Difficulties


The abbreviated term ADHD denotes the condition commonly known as: See Answer

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Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.