: Thanks for bringing this up!
: hiya from a fellow new(er) member and FTDer!
I'm 24 and I have the symptoms of an FTD as well. MtC
, I don't know what yours were caused by, but mine were caused by what we think is some sort of bug/microorganism (maybe a fungal infection). Mine also came with a parkinson-like movement disorder (essential tremor, intention tremor, stooping gait, profound philosophical issues with stairs, etc.), fever, exercise intolerance, and intense fatigue. In your case, you might want to consider any other neurological, infectious, or autoimmune symptoms you may have in order to properly frame your FTD symptoms with respect to them. "FTD" when mentioned all by itself generally refers to a specific disease of unknown cause affecting the middle-aged and elderly. Because of this pattern, it's not the neurologist's or psychiatrist's first thing on mind when a younger adult walks in with FTD-like symptoms.
A while back (for the benefit of myself as well as my caregivers [parents]), I snatched up a few articles from eMedicine.com (and its affiliate MedScape) and read up on and (attempted to) summarize them. I'm not going to quote the articles directly, but I will state what were, for me, salient points brought up by the authors:
-- Pure behavioral issues include impulsivity, loss of social inhibition, and an introverted withdrawal:
These symptoms are also shared with Alzheimer's disease, but you being 19, and me being 24, I'd be surprised if that were our issue. The combination of #1 and #2 makes patients have an odd sense of humor (mine has been very morbid as of recent; I told my father to have fun suing himself in a wrongful death suit after he refused to install a banister for me to navigate the basement stairs with). #3 is also a problem, caused not just by #2, but also my inability to speak fluently (see the aphasia stuff below).
-- A major issue in FTD is a verbal "aphasia" (inability to come up with words). Pure and full aphasia results in one being completely unable to write or talk due to lack of verbal abilities:
I think it's safe to assume that neither of us have the full version.
As for my case, however, I do have a significant degree of aphasia, and to write a long, coherent post like this one takes well over 45 minutes (not counting the following 30 minutes during which I repeatedly edit it!). I also have minor issues with grammar/syntax, which unfortunately can cause the meanings of entire sentences to change (I once caused multiple threads on another message board to go down in flames when I accidentally insulted another member!).
--Despite the aphasia, normal intellect is retained:
Yes, this is how I manage to think up and summarize all of these ideas as well as bringing them up with my doctors, and not to mention, identifying a few possible pathogens of my disease to my infectious disease physician... despite being unable to remember where I put anything or if I took a shower today. Or if I shut the car door when I got home yesterday after shopping (n.B. - I didn't! Mom was not happy, given that it's her car as well.) It's like a hardcore version of AD/HD.
--Another issue seen are impulsions to stimulate oneself, namely the hands and the mouth. FTD patients are apparently prone to toying with any object within reach, and have a propensity for eating a lot and/or just needing something in their mouth to chew on:
Yep, that's me. I'd built so many clocks this past summer that it wasn't funny. My mother thought I had some sort of obsession with clocks, but then we'd later realized that I'd built so many table lamps soon afterwards that clocks weren't the problem. I also was gaining weight from overeating until I realized I was, in fact, overeating.
--"Supporting" (not required but helpful in diagnosis) criteria in the US and Canada include the replacement of verbal abilities with artistic and musical (!) ones:
Subjectively, I think they mean... if you like hard rock, try http://www.psychobiologist.net/music
(my music hobby site)... Not kidding, I wasn't able to do music until about a year ago, which is when my other dementia symptoms really went downhill. I was wide-eyed alarmed to read that the US and Canada use this as supporting criteria.
--I'll be looking at other summaries one of these days...
Behavioral difficulties in traditional FTD vs. Alzheimer disease: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/555186
Professional article on traditional FT(L)D (registration required):
Professional article on other causes of fronto-temporal syndromes (causes ranging from traumatic injury to hydrocephalus to encephalitis to you name it) (registration required):
I hope y'all find my rantings to be a helpful. And, MtC
, please do consider if there could be some sort of other brain malady leading to a fronto-temporal syndrome, and speak with a neurologist about it. You might be able to get the problem fixed.
Good health to all and I'll shut up now,
[EDIT: This post actually took 70 minutes to write, namely as I have a hard time shutting up.]