13+ Frontotemporal Dementia Treatment Options

frontotemporal dementia treatment

It is important to understand the right approach to frontotemporal dementia treatment and how you can ease and alleviate the condition.

Frontotemporal dementia or FTD is a group of disorders that develop when there is a progressive loss of nerve cells in the frontal or temporal lobes in the brain.

When this happens to an individual, it can affect their movement, behavior, language, and personality. If you get a positive diagnosis for FTD, the first question you may ask is how to get treatment.

Sadly, there is currently no treatment available to cure, prevent, or slow down the decline of FTD.

However, there are a couple of frontotemporal dementia treatment options that affected individuals can try out. These may help take care of some of the symptoms they experience, ultimately improving quality of life.

Worth noting is that FTD is not life-threatening and many people live with it for years.

Best Frontotemporal Dementia Treatment


frontotemporal dementia treatment medication
Doctors can prescribe different types of medication to a person who has FTD to ease some symptoms. These are usually off-label drugs that are approved for one purpose but are used for another purpose.

Before settling on the drug that a person should take, medics usually ask caregivers and the person with dementia what the most problematic symptom is.

The professional then targets to treat this first. Some of the most common drugs that a person can include in a frontotemporal dementia treatment plan include:


There are very many drugs in the market available to help treat depression. That can also come in handy for a person who has FTD. They can help to control obsessive-compulsive behaviors, treat anxiety, and other signs of the disease.

Drugs like trazodone can assist with behavioral problems. SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), on the other hand, have proven to be helpful when it comes to treating multiple FTD behavioral symptoms.

They include agitation, depression, apathy, and anxiety amongst others.

Drugs that most people take include Zoloft and Luvox. Professionals deem these agents relatively safe to be taken by persons who have dementia.

Sleeping aids

sleeping aids
An individual can use this to help ease sleep disturbances like insomnia.

Antipsychotic drugs

Doctors usually recommend these to help reduce compulsive and irrational behaviors. The medications which are also known as neuroleptic drugs have a reputation for affecting motor functioning negatively.

However, new generation antipsychotic drugs like Zyprexa and Seroquel are normally well-tolerated.

Cholinesterase inhibitors

Some people will be also be put on cholinesterase inhibitors to experience some improvement or temporary stabilization in memory/attention in global functioning and day-to-day activities.


This class of medicine can act as mood stabilizers. A doctor may advise a person to take these alone or in conjunction with other drugs, specifically antipsychotic medication to manage agitation.

Tegretol and Depakote can help manage extreme behavior symptoms.

Dopaminergic Agents

dopaminergic agents
Some studies reveal that some drugs can help with enhanced initiation and speech fluency. These are medications that an individual takes to supplement the dopamine brain neurotransmitter system.

Persons with Parkinson’s disease are the ones who mostly take these drugs. In small doses, the medication might also reduce involuntary movements that some persons with FTD have.


Some persons with frontotemporal dementia may show signs of sexual disinhibition. Because this can be distressing medics might recommend medroxyprogesterone which is a hormone progesterone derivative. In some cases, this is useful for calming sexual urges.

Clinicians have to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of using drugs before recommending a prescription. This is because some drugs may have dire side-effects; thus, they end up creating a bigger problem instead of offering a solution.

Others might also interact with other medications that a person is already taking.

In most cases, the doctor will proceed on a start slow approach to see if the medication will be tolerated. The expert then decides whether it is prudent for the person to continue taking the drugs or look for an alternative.


Persons who have FTD are also advised to consider different types of therapies when coming up with a frontotemporal dementia treatment plan.

Examples of therapies that might help include:

Language and speech therapy

Experts can work with an individual to help improve communication problems.

This, at times, also assists with swallowing issues.


This comes highly recommended for people who have movement challenges because of FTD.

Occupational therapy

A person goes in for this type of therapy so that therapists can identify major problem areas in their daily lives.

These can include difficulties in eating, taking a shower, or getting properly dressed. The professionals of occupational therapy then go ahead to help come up with practical solutions.

Clinical Trials

clinical trials
Researchers and other experts are constantly working hard to make strides in the frontotemporal dementia treatment front.

This implies that a person who has FTD can volunteer to join a clinical trial that is experimenting with new tests, interventions, and treatments.

It is one of the approaches that can help to introduce new methods that are possible to detect, prevent, manage, or even treat the disease.

It is crucial to do thorough research before joining any clinical program to ensure that you will not be compromising your health at the end of the day.

Each clinical trial typically follows a protocol that has been predefined, including:

  • Clear criteria for eligible persons
  • In-depth information about the purpose of the trial
  • The experts conducting it and how they will be doing it
  • Potential benefits and risks

With most trials, a person does not have to pay to join. The experts usually cover costs like travel expenses for the participants.

Home and Lifestyle Remedies

home and lifestyle remedies
Away from frontotemporal dementia treatment options that mainly require professional help, there are some lifestyle and home remedies that can also prove valuable to individuals with FTD like:

1. Accepting the help of the caregivers. As the illness progresses, a person with FTD might not be able to do everything on their own; thus need some assistance from relatives, friends, and other professionals.

These are people who will come in to lend a hand when it is needed as you go about your daily activities. They will also offer transportation, maintain safety and assist with finances.

2. Engaging in exercises that are suitable for your skill level is also good for your health. Not only will this keep you in shape, but it will also help enhance thinking skills and mood.

3. Proper nutrition is also advisable for anyone who has FTD. There are plenty of resources that a person can use to see the best foods and drinks to eat to get the nutrients and energy that is needed to tackle the disease.

4. Stress management is also crucial to everyone who is battling FTD. Try and find things that make one happy and relaxed. The activities that a person engages in should be stimulating and enjoyable and most importantly, should be of their choosing.

While lifestyle changes will not reverse or stop the progression of the illness, they can help to protect brain functioning and offer other benefits that will see a person lead a more fulfilling life even with the disease.

frontotemporal dementia treatment lifestyle changes

Extra lifestyle changes

Your physician will also discuss any lifestyle changes that you need to make along the way. For instance, it may reach a point where you are not able to drive safely again.

Creating a comfortable environment for the person with FTD can also help them cope better with the signs and symptoms they are going through.

This can be done by making sure that there is nothing in sight that upsets the person with dementia. The home should also have minimal noise and be well-lit.

Other frontotemporal dementia treatment plans that might come in handy for persons with FTD like:

1. Engaging in relaxing techniques
This can be anything from going in for a massage or just listening to some good music and dancing your heart out.

2. Leisure activities and social interactions
These are best done with people who are facing the same challenges. This is why a person with this type of dementia needs to identify a support group.

These can have all sorts of helpful ideas on the activities that members can participate in to have fun so that they do not have to think about their medical condition all the time.

These groups also offer plenty of valuable advice that members can use to lead better lives despite their current conditions.

3. Strategies to combat challenging behavior
These include approaches like structured routines, distraction techniques, and activities like completing puzzles, etc. that help to avert “difficult” behaviors.

4. The use of incontinence products like pads pants, catheters, and other products and devices can help make life a lot easier when need be.

Closing Thoughts

It is important to note that people who have FTD do not experience illness in the same way. This means that a treatment option that works for one person may be harmful to the next.

It is, therefore, vital to identify the best treatment options based on individual experience to get the best results.

Additionally, it is best to stay away from self-prescription. Always consult a professional before you embark on any new treatments to be on the safe side.

12 Frontotemporal Dementia Symptoms 2023

frontotemporal dementia symptoms

We will look at the most common frontotemporal dementia symptoms as they can vary quite a bit from person to person.

Some are pretty similar to other types of dementia, but the treatment can be different due to the disease affecting different areas of the brain.

But what exactly is frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and why it occurs?

First and foremost, frontotemporal dementia is an umbrella term for different conditions. We know three main types of FTD:

Moreover, FTD increases nerve loss in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. The former is the area behind your forehead and the latter the section behind the ears.

A person with FTD mainly shows signs that are related to behavior, personality and communication/language which worsen over time. In the later stages of frontotemporal dementia, a person needs 24-hour care.

Today, we will investigate different FTD symptoms that caregivers, friends and family members should be aware of.

Note that an individual can have a mixture of two or more symptoms which cause difficulty prescribing the right treatment.

At the time of writing this, FTD and any other type of dementia still have no cure. However, there are different behavioral and lifestyle changes that we can implement to reduce the risk of dementia.

10 Frontotemporal Dementia Symptoms and Signs

1. Apathy

apathy frontotemporal dementia symptoms
It is easy to notice this change in a person that was once an outgoing, active and friendly individual with a lot of friends and rich social life.

However, all of a sudden, they lose interest in other people, events and friends. A person with frontotemporal dementia, as well, starts to lose motivation for hobbies and other activities that he or she once loved.

When you ask this person why they do not do activities anymore he or she just doesn’t have the motivation to do anything anymore. Also, a person doesn’t have any bad feelings toward friends and society just doesn’t want to be connected with them anymore.

As a result, they like to spend time alone. An apathetic person has an absence of interest in social, spiritual, physical, emotional and family life.

2. Lack of sympathy and empathy

lack of sympathy and empathy
A person with frontotemporal dementia symptoms puts himself first. He or she has difficulties to see and understand the needs of other people (his caregivers, family members, friends).

They show less personal warmth and love even to his wife or her husband. Besides, a person can show no interest in their children or grandchildren.

Which can be difficult to understand and to accept for family members.

Moreover, a person can be less socially active or doesn’t show any interest in the social environment, events or celebrations.

This behavior can make the person appear harmful or selfish and has to be understood as illness and not as an unfriendly attitude or hostility.

3. Repetitive behavior

repetitive behaviors a symptom of frontotemporal dementia
A person can develop a behavior pattern or gestures that are repeated many times in a day. A person can also start hoarding stuff and doesn’t want to throw away their belongings.

Especially disturbing are used wipes, old food and empty food packing. Common frontotemporal dementia symptom is when a person repeats phrases and questions multiple times in just one hour.

Some behaviors can become almost ritualized and cannot be interrupted. If a caregiver doesn’t do something like the ritual a person with frontotemporal dementia developed, the person with the condition can get very angry and upset.

For example, if the food isn’t served like the person with frontotemporal dementia expects, he or she can become a nuisance.

4. Poor planning and trouble making decisions

poor planning and trouble making decision
Organizing and planning difficulties may be first noticed at work if a person is still employed. A retired person can show a lack of organizing and managing their finances.

As an example, house expenses and bills aren’t paid in time or the wrong amount is paid. A person can be confused with the understanding of the value of money and can waste it for unnecessary things.

Another common frontotemporal dementia symptom is the difficulty of making decisions. More importantly, the decision to actually executing an activity or task. On the other hand, they might have trouble considering what should be the best thing to do in a particular situation.

It is important for a person to have a caregiver, family member, friend, that helps him to understand the value of the decision and what should be the best for them to do.

5. Loss of communication

loss of communication
A person with frontotemporal dementia can experience loss of expression. Communication can be hard to understand with a lot of errors in grammar. A person can be really slow at speaking and experiences difficulties to find the right word and meaning of a sentence.

You can notice that an individual is leaving out small words in the sentence such as the, from, to, etc. It becomes challenging to understand what they try to say when the words are mispronounced or wrong.

You have to be attentive to understand a person with frontotemporal dementia who has symptoms of loss of communication.

Don’t argue with a person about errors in grammar and just listen attentively and connect the story in a whole tale with a sense of its potential.

After some time, it gets easier to understand the meaning even if the words are wrong and are missing.

6. Memory

Common frontotemporal dementia symptom is connected with memory. One of the first signs is when a person’s vocabulary gets inadequate.

Additionally, a person can be confused about everyday objects and doesn’t recognize items that he/she uses, eats and see every day.

A person can be asking about the meaning of familiar words (what is “glass,” what is “an apple,” etc.). Similarly, a person doesn’t recognize familiar people, family and friends.

Loss of short-term memory can be noticed when a person doesn’t recollect what he ate one hour ago, if he already was in the shop that day or if he/she had any family visits in the morning.

7. Agitated behavior

agitated behavior
The more that the brain becomes damaged, the more agitated or aggressive a person can become. In this stage of frontotemporal dementia, a person can be hard to understand, has limited communication and poor focus.

He or she can become angry or aggressive by the smallest things that do not go according to their plan. This could be a simple misunderstanding in conversation.

Or if a family member thinks or wants to prove that the person with dementia is behaving weird or inappropriate.

Try to understand that the brain is damaged and that person can’t act and behave as he/she used to.

A person starts to do everyday things in a routine and gets upset if the routine is broken. In this stage, a person will likely need a full-time caregiver.

8. Poor personal hygiene

poor personal hygiene
A person can start to diminish personal hygiene, and doesn’t want to take regular showers, clean teeth and wash clothes.

Clothes seem to a person with frontotemporal dementia always clean and he/she does not want to change them even if they are full of stains.

Showers start to become unnecessary and complicated. Plus, the cleanliness of the bathroom and living space becomes poor and dirty.

It is necessary that family members check if the bathroom and kitchen are clean and safe to use if a person is living alone.

9. Movement problems

movement problems
Common symptoms of frontotemporal dementia are those that relate to the movement of a person. A person can develop tremors and can’t stop trembling, which leads to incapability to take care of his/her basic needs in everyday life tasks.

A problem can start with an eating disorder due to the difficulty of swallowing of food and liquids.

Not enough food can lower energy and consequently, lack of active movement.

With no activity, human muscles start to weaken which can lead to problems with balance. A person can easily fall and lose stability while standing.

Try to help a person with movement problems to stay active and walk at least ten minutes a day if possible so that some muscles will stay fresh and preserved.

10. Change of personality

change of personality
The characteristics and personality of a person with dementia can change with a damaged brain. Alterations can be so severe that the person that you once knew doesn’t exist anymore.

We simply have to accept a new personality that an individual has developed.

Remember that the changes, especially if they are negative, are due to the disease. A person with frontotemporal dementia is not trying to hurt you, or be negative and ungrateful.

Set reasonable expectations and don’t demand behavior that a person with frontotemporal dementia cannot provide.

If personality changes are so severe and sudden that you cannot cope with them, contact a physician for help.

11. Sudden speech problems

sudden speech problems
It is more likely that a person with FTD will have issues with speech compared to those with Alzheimer’s disease. This results in one of quite common frontotemporal dementia symptoms.

A person has trouble not just remembering names and words but making sense when they speak and understanding others. They even tend to use more general words when describing things, even people, like it, he, she, etc.

Moreover, difficulty also occurs when it comes to reading.

To sum up, when an older adult starts to have speech problems, you better take him or her to see the doctor as early as possible. In some instances, complete loss of speech may also become a thing.

12. Weird eating habits

weird eating habits
One widespread frontotemporal dementia symptom is the development of weird eating habits.

All of a sudden, they start to crave foods that they never before liked. Moreover, overeating is an almost popular act in people with frontotemporal dementia.

That’s not all. It is also quite natural that they begin to desire sweet foods, primarily carbohydrates.

Last but not least, one of the signs of their weird eating habits is the fact that they begin eating inedible, heck, contaminated objects. You, as a caregiver or loved one, should pay close attention to what the older adult is doing.

And if they need more attention during morning or later hours, that’s what you would want to try to take care of.

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