How Long Can You Live With Pick's Disease?

Medically Reviewed on 12/28/2022
Pick's Disease Life Expectancy
Pick’s disease cannot be cured, but doctors may help treat the symptoms.

Pick’s disease is a type of frontotemporal dementia, which is a degenerative disease like Alzheimer's disease. Pick’s disease causes disability in the early stages of life, whereas, in later stages, the disease may cause death due to severe infection or multiorgan failure in 8 to 10 years.

This degenerative brain disease is mainly seen in adults younger than 65 years. The condition is not curable. However, healthcare providers can treat the symptoms.

What causes Pick's disease?

The exact cause of Pick’s disease is unknown. There is little evidence suggesting that 25 percent of people with Pick's disease might have inherited a gene from their parents, resulting in the disease.

The transport system of the brain is made of specific proteins, which help move the nutrients and guide them where they are needed. Proteins that help transport nutrients are called Tau proteins. Tau proteins may not function properly and may accumulate in people with Pick's disease. These groups of tau proteins are called Pick bodies.

Pick bodies "derail" the transport system. The path is no longer straight, and nutrients in the brain are unable to reach their destination. This results in irreversible brain damage.

What are the symptoms of Pick's disease?

Pick bodies are formed in the frontal and temporal regions of the brain, which help control behavior, control, and speech.

The following are the symptoms of Pick's disease:

  • Aggressive behavior
  • No interest in daily activities
  • Quick mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty feeling warmth, sympathy, and concern
  • Repeating actions
  • Making sudden decisions
  • Severe hunger
  • Doing inappropriate things

Some people may have language problems. Pick body deposition in the speech region of the brain, which is associated with speech production, may cause the following:

  • Difficulty recalling names of common objects
  • Difficulty copying simple shapes
  • Not understanding written words
  • Abnormal speech

Rarely, people with Pick's disease have the following symptoms:


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How to diagnose Pick’s disease

The doctor will initially ask for the symptoms and family history. A few tests are conducted, such as memory tests and assessment of behavioral, language, and other tests. To know exactly what is happening to the brain, MRI is done.

Other tests that are performed to diagnose the condition include:

Is Pick's disease curable?

The condition cannot be cured, but the doctor may help treat the symptoms. Behavioral therapy is used to regulate a few symptoms. Additionally, antidepressants are advised to reduce aggressiveness.

Medically Reviewed on 12/28/2022
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