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Pick Disease of the Brain

Definition

Pick's disease is a rare and permanent form of dementia that is similar to Alzheimer's disease, except that it tends to affect only certain areas of the brain.

Symptoms

The disease can get worse slowly. Tissues in the temporal and frontal lobes of the brain start to shrink over time. Symptoms such as behavior changes, speech difficulty, and impaired thinking occur slowly, but continue to get worse.

The early personality changes can help doctors tell Pick's disease apart from Alzheimer’s. Memory loss is often the main, and earliest, symptom of Alzheimer's.

People with Pick's disease tend to behave the wrong way in different social settings. The changes in behavior continue to get worse and are often one of the most disturbing symptoms of the disease. Some patients will have difficulty with language (trouble finding or understanding words or writing).

General symptoms are listed below.

Behavioral changes:

  • Can't keep a job
  • Compulsive behaviors
  • Inappropriate behavior
  • Inability to function or interact in social or personal situations
  • Problems with personal hygiene
  • Repetitive behavior
  • Withdrawal from social interaction

Emotional changes:

  • Abrupt mood changes
  • Decreased interest in daily living activities
  • Failure to recognize changes in behavior
  • Failure to show emotional warmth, concern, empathy, sympathy
  • Inappropriate mood
  • Not caring about events or environment

Language changes:

Neurological problems:

  • Increased muscle tone (rigidity)
  • Memory loss that gets worse
  • Movement/coordination difficulties (apraxia)
  • Weakness

Other problems:

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