Understanding Pick’s Disease in Seniors

Understanding Pick’s Disease in Seniors

Pick’s disease is characterized by heterogeneity of lesions, so the symptoms in the elderly patients can vary significantly, making diagnosis difficult. The weakening of the temporal lobe can lead to aphasia, which is characterized by a violation of the established speech. Atrophy of the hippocampus causes emotional disturbances, which reduces the concentration power in the patient. Damage to the frontal lobe causes a decrease in cognitive functions. The patient has difficulty processing new information.

Initially, the disease provokes a change in behavioral functions, the patient’s speech is disturbed. The patient may commit inadequate actions that a person could not have done before the illness. Relatives of the patient often note the development of the below conditions:

Inappropriate behavior

Patients may act rude to the interlocutor even in the framework of normal communication and might not perform work duties;

Loss of empathy

Patients lose the ability to empathize with their relatives during difficult life situations. At this stage, attention is usually emphasized if a person, before the illness, always sincerely sympathized with the grief of those around them and tried to support them;

Increased distractibility

Patients are constantly changing plans, they are not able to finish the job which they started. Patients may become agitated or apathetic about everything that happens around them.

Patients repeat the same actions

A person becomes untidy: they refuse to follow the rules of personal hygiene, forgets to change their underwear, and disregards their appearance.

Speech disorders

The patient may have difficulty with the selection of words, so it becomes difficult for them to express their own thoughts. The patient can talk a lot, but the speech will be incoherent, and may not have a specific focus. A number of people may also note a decrease in speech activity.Important! At the initial stages, a person is still able to independently write, count, read, and carry out professional manipulations.¬†Often, with Pick’s disease, new taste preferences appear in patients – patients begin to eat sweets uncontrollably and become addicted to alcoholic beverages.

 

The duration of the initial stages varies from 2 to 10 years. Then more and more nerve cells are involved in the pathological process, which leads to a dramatic increase in symptoms. Elderly patients are no longer able to control their own behavior, licentiousness appears, and they start neglecting social norms and rules. At the last stage of frontotemporal dementia, patients are not able to move independently due to the development of muscular atrophy which forces them to lead a recumbent lifestyle. About Medigap: Older folks who’re above 65 can utilize Medicare supplement plans that pay for copay & coinsurance.