Apathy may precede dementia years before other symptoms

ISLAMABAD, December 31 (online): A study has found that in individuals at genetic risk of frontotemporal dementia, apathy predicts the development of symptoms years later. Targeting early signs of apathy may be one way to delay the onset of this type of dementia or slow its progression.
Doctors usually diagnose frontotemporal dementia in people between the ages of 45 and 64 years, and this condition accounts for fewer than 1 in 20 dementia cases. It mainly affects the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain.
The disease has a genetic component; around 10–30% of all people with this type of dementia have a family history of it.
Unlike more common forms of dementia, which tend to affect older people, early frontotemporal dementia causes behavior, personality, and language changes in people who retain their spatial skills and memory.
Behavioral symptoms include a loss of usual inhibitions, repetitive or compulsive behaviors, decreased energy, and apathy or listlessness.