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What is Frontotemporal Degeneration (FTD)?

You can view a glossary of commonly used terms from the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (AFTD) here.


Frontotemporal degeneration (FTD), or Frontotemporal dementia, refers to a family of disorders characterized by the progressive loss of neurons (brain cells) in the frontal and temporal regions of the brain.

Patients with FTD can present with different clinical symptoms, ranging from behavioral impairments to language or motor dysfunction.  Although the precise cause may not be known, FTD is thought to result from abnormal accumulation of misfolded proteins, which disrupt, and eventually lead to degeneration of brain cells.

As FTD progresses, it can slowly deprive a person of their cognitive abilities, personality and eventually their independence. An estimated 10,000 people are diagnosed with FTD each year. Symptoms of FTD often first appear between the ages of 50 to 65 years of age.

As the symptoms of FTD often first appear in a person’s 50’s or 60’s and can include dramatic changes in behavior and personality, it is not unusual for an individual to be referred to multiple specialists, such as a psychiatrist, before an accurate diagnosis is made.  To assess for Frontotemporal degeneration, our clinical team will gather a detailed medical history and complete a thorough neurological examination.

To make an appointment at our center to meet with one of our doctors, please call 215-662-3606.

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