Dementia symptoms: Changes in behaviour or language are often the 'first' signs – the NHS


Frontotemporal dementia affects the frontal and temporal lobes located at the front and sides of the brain. This type of dementia is typically diagnosed in people aged 45 to 65, the NHS says.The national health service confirmed: “Frontotemporal dementia usually causes changes in behaviour or language problems at first.” Some “unusual” behaviours that may develop when a person has the brain condition, includes “being insensitive and rude”.

The brain condition can cause a person to lose the ability to empathise with another, causing them to seem cold and selfish.

They might begin to act impulsively and rashly, lose their sense of inhibitions, or seem subdued.

Frontotemporal dementia could cause the person affected to lose interest in the people around them.

Moreover, a sense of drive may be depleted and there might be a total loss of motivation to get anything done.

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Personal hygiene might be neglected in addition to exhibiting apathy, which could easily be misdiagnosed as depression.

Frontotemporal dementia, however, could lead to more obvious hallmarks of the conditions.

For example, repetitive behaviours – that never were – might become commonplace, such as:

  • Humming
  • Hand-rubbing
  • Foot tapping.


The Alzheimer’s Society noted that frontotemporal dementia can be “hard for doctors to diagnose”.

This is because the early indications of the disease may not be recognised as dementia.

There is a chance that certain symptoms, such as risk-taking, loss of inhibitions, and obsessive behaviour could lead to a wrong diagnosis.

For example, frontotemporal dementia might be misdiagnosed as depression, schizophrenia, or obsessive compulsive disorder.

The diagnosis can be a lengthy process, which is why you should seek support from a doctor as soon as dementia is suspected.

Various testing will need to be done to rule out other health conditions.

Assessments might include blood tests, CT and MRI scans, and genetic testing.As soon as a diagnosis is made, the correct course of treatment can begin to treat symptoms.


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