Semantic dementia; Dementia - semantic; Frontotemporal dementia; Arnold Pick's disease
There is no specific treatment for Pick's disease. Certain antidepressants and antipsychotics may help manage mood swings related to Pick's disease, but further research is needed.
Sometimes patients with Pick's take the same medications used to treat other types of dementia, such as medications that decrease the breakdown of the chemical messenger, acetylcholine (anticholinesterase inhibitors), and memantine. However, there is no conclusive evidence that these help.
In some cases, stopping or changing medications that worsen confusion or that are not essential can improve thinking and other cognitive functions. This may include medications such as:
It's important to treat any disorders that contribute to confusion. These may include:
Treating any medical and psychiatric disorders often helps improve mental function.
Medications may be needed to control aggressive, dangerous, or agitated behaviors.
Some patients may benefit from hearing aids, glasses, cataract surgery, or other treatments.
Behavior modification can help some people control unacceptable or dangerous behaviors. This consists of rewarding appropriate or positive behaviors and ignoring inappropriate behaviors (when it's safe to do so).
Formal psychotherapy treatment doesn't always work, because it can cause further confusion or disorientation.
Reality orientation, which reinforces environmental and other cues, may help reduce disorientation.
Depending on the symptoms and severity of the disease, the patient may need monitoring and help with personal hygiene and self-care. Eventually, there may be a need for 24-hour care and monitoring at home or in a special facility. Family counseling can help the person cope with the changes needed for home care.
Care may include:
People may need legal advice early in the course of the disorder. Advance directives, power of attorney, and other legal actions can make it easier to make ethical decisions regarding the care of the person with Pick's disease.
The disorder quickly and steadily becomes worse. Patients become totally disabled early in the course of the disease.
Pick's disease commonly causes death within 2 - 10 years, usually from infection but sometimes from general failure of the body systems.
Call your health care provider if you develop symptoms of Pick's disease.
Call your health care provider or go to the emergency room if mental function gets worse (which may mean that another disorder has developed).
Knopman DS. Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 425.
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