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* Educate healthcare professionals

* Establish a clinic for FTD sufferers

* Support research

Friday, December 19, 2008

Short List Clues to Identifying FTD or Pick’s Disease

If you wonder things like “Did they have a stroke?” “Are they depressed?” “Are they having problems due to alcohol consumption?” “Why are they acting so strange?” “Are they Schizophrenic?” “Have they lost their mind?” “They would never act like this in their right mind”

If we had seen a published list of behavior changes related to Pick’s or FTD on Good Morning America or Oprah, we might have realized sooner what was going on with them. When I look at the list, I say to myself, why didn‘t I see it, why didn‘t I recognize it sooner? It is like those mind bender puzzles, once you hear the answer, you go OH of course that is the answer.

Here is my list, but my brother and sister were poster children for FTD, so you will see these behaviors on many lists:

Early Stage

More flirtatious with opposite sex
Depressed; felt the world was crashing in on occasion
Compulsive behaviors; my brother used a women’s bathroom in a fine dining restaurant (he would never do that normally). Behaviors out of the norm for them
Would drink alcohol in group situations, makes them feel more confident
Mood changes are slighter in this stage; can get angry, but you generally can reason with them
Start drawing or showing artistic (could be music) abilities

Middle Stage

More reclusive, paranoid behaviors
Talk less
Smiled less
More conscious about spending money
Read less and watch more TV
Stop favorite activities; golf, because not able to make a put anymore
Speech is harder to understand; suspect they may have had a minor stroke
More aggressive behaviors; loose temper easily and can be physically violent
Problems keeping a job
You notice fewer friends around
Inappropriate behaviors; walk in on you in the bathroom/bedroom, change the TV station while you are watching it, pass gas in a restaurant, eat with mouth open, laugh at sad things, just RUDE
Rigid in behaviors. Taking a vacation, you get to airport and they say they have to go home to do their nails.

Later Stage

Repeat familiar phrases; i.e. Have a Nice Day, It’s a Great Day, eventually mute
Flip words around; Merry Birthday
Rarely smile
Crave sweets
Stop cooking, become afraid of using appliances or electronics
Paranoid behavior; shutting the blinds, locking the doors
Inability to function or interact in social or personal situations
Problems with personal hygiene
Repetitive behavior; go to the same store, buy the same candy bar
Rapid mood change, violent, angry
Failure to show concern, empathy, sympathy, compassion
Gain weight, physical changes, they walk differently or slump shoulders
Stop bathing, cleaning house, or doing laundry
Reckless driving
Less writing and signature may change drastically
Urinary incontinence

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