Bruce Willis has a rare form of dementia: what can the disease lead to
What is frontotemporal dementia, a neurologist, a cephalgologist told about its signs and causes.
Fans of Bruce Willis were shocked by the shocking news - their favorite actor was diagnosed with aphasia, the provoking factor of which, perhaps, was the traumatic brain injury he received on the set of films. Then the diagnosis was clarified - Willis suffers from frontotemporal dementia. How can the disease affect the actor's ability to talk and act in the future? What else threatens this type of dementia? Elena Evdokimova, specialist of the Health Council concierge service, neurologist, cephalologist, answered all the exciting questions of the Inc-News information portal.
"Frontotemporal dementia is the third most common neurodegenerative dementia in all age groups. And the second after Alzheimer's disease in diagnosing at presenial age. The incidence peaks at 45-65 years old, rarely develops at 20-40 years old and after 90. It is important to undergo regular Comprehensive health screenings available through the Health Council Concierge Service to identify problems early," explains the Health Council Concierge Service Specialist.
Frontotemporal dementia - what is it?
Frontotemporal dementia affects the frontal and temporal areas of the cerebral cortex; numerous traumas, hereditary and concomitant diseases can serve as provoking factors. First of all, the disease is manifested by a change in behavior, speech disorders. Speech becomes monosyllabic, meager, with elongation of the intervals between words. Patients experience difficulties in naming objects and constructing sentences, while understanding and perception of addressed speech is preserved. The patient loses reading and writing skills. Emotional-affective disorders (anxiety, depression, apathy or emotional dullness) are often noted. The disease requires careful examination and symptomatic treatment.
Frontotemporal dementia develops as a result of atrophy of the cerebral cortex in the frontal and temporal regions. The reason may be:
- hereditary factors;
- deposition of tau protein in brain tissues;
- chronic alcoholism and drug use;
- infectious diseases of the brain;
- head trauma.
The pathology is very serious, as it provokes other disorders of brain activity. For example, there are behavioral disorders, sudden unreasonable mood changes, outbursts of anger, apathy.
The risk group includes people whose close relatives have had this disease, as well as those who abuse alcohol and use drugs, and those who have received serious head injuries.
The main signs of the development of frontotemporal dementia
- The patient's behavior becomes more passive. He is inattentive to his duties at work and at home, often withdraws into himself, and sharply limits his social circle. Answer questions briefly and clearly.
- The patient has a negative attitude towards relatives and friends, constantly laughs at them or insults them. There are outbursts of anger, the manifestation of negative emotions, a violation of the norms of decency and behavior, disinhibition, a change in eating behavior.
- There is no logic in actions, the patient becomes untidy and neglects personal hygiene, there are deviations in speech. It becomes incoherent and discontinuous.
Stages of development of the disease
1st - a person ceases to be tactful, does not care about the feelings of others, and his statements often hurt others. There are problems with a clear formulation of their thoughts, there are difficulties with written and oral speech.
2nd - this period is characterized by the absence of empathic feelings towards others. In some cases, hypersexuality develops. Changing eating habits in favor of overeating.
3rd - the patient becomes lethargic, speech is seriously affected, partial memory loss appears and problems with orientation in space appear. There is tremor, muscle weakness and difficulty swallowing. Serious damage to the nervous system is noted, which significantly shortens life.
At the last stage, a person ceases to serve himself and needs round-the-clock care. On average, 6 years pass between the first and final stages of the disease.
How is frontotemporal dementia diagnosed?
Patients often do not realize that something is wrong with them. Asking for help comes at the initiative of loved ones. The diagnosis is made based on the results of studies and conversations with relatives.
The patient is examined by a neurologist, and a psychiatrist and a speech therapist also talk to him. An MRI of the brain and a lumbar puncture are performed to determine the level of prions. To confirm the diagnosis, a number of neuropsychological tests are prescribed.
Unfortunately, the disease cannot be cured. Currently existing drugs and techniques cannot slow the progression of frontotemporal dementia, and therapy is symptomatic.
Regular rehabilitation activities with a speech therapist are necessary. In the presence of depression and severe anxiety, the patient is prescribed antidepressants. Antipsychotic drugs help to correct the behavior of the patient.
Such patients require highly qualified medical care, and a competent doctor will help you choose the Health Council concierge service.
Unfortunately, if the diagnosis of Bruce Willis is correct, then one cannot count on a successful outcome, but our love and reverence for the actor will not become less from this.