Currently, there are no medications available to treat frontotemporal dementia and to stop it from progressing. So, the focus of healthcare professionals is to help people with the disease manage their symptoms in everyday life.
This support can come from a range of places, including the NHS and social services, as well as specialist support groups and local groups or organisations in your community. Support to manage symptoms, as well as sharing experiences with others in a similar situation, can be really helpful.
Occupational therapists, speech therapists or cognitive behavioural therapists can help you to maintain your independence for as long as possible.
Speech therapists can also give advice about communication techniques for people with language problems. Some people find it helps to use alternative communication methods, including specialist smartphone and tablet apps, spelling boards and simpler approaches like picture cards.
Physical symptoms of FTD, such as problems swallowing or moving, may need careful management. You may be offered physiotherapy to help with these symptoms.
While drug treatments are limited, a group of antidepressant medications called SSRIs can sometimes help to manage behavioural symptoms in people with FTD.
If someone with FTD is experiencing severe agitation or aggression, a doctor may first assess their general health and environment. This could help identify any causes or triggers of these symptoms. They may suggest complementary treatments such as aromatherapy or music therapy. These can be designed to draw on a person’s own interests and may help to relieve aggression and agitation.
In rare cases, doctors may prescribe antipsychotic drugs to relieve severe symptoms. These drugs are not suitable for everyone so your doctor will carefully consider what is appropriate. They can have serious side-effects and their use should be carefully monitored.
For more detailed information, see our 'Treatments for dementia' booklet or talk to your doctor to discuss treatment options.
Treatments for dementia
Read more about treatments for dementia, including information on treating depression, anxiety and agitation and for information on antipsychotics.
What is frontotemporal dementia?
This booklet is for anyone who wants to know more about frontotemporal dementia (FTD). This includes people living with FTD, their carers, families and friends.
Order health information
Alzheimer’s Research UK has a wide range of information about dementia. Order booklets or download them from our online form.
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