Pick’s Disease – What is it?

Pick’s disease was identified at the initiative of Dr. Alois Alzheimer. It was this world-famous doctor who contributed to an in-depth study of the degeneration of the frontotemporal lobe of the brain. Dr. Arnold Pick, led by Alzheimer, studied the topic of dementia of the anterior part of the brain, which occurs in one in five cases of dementia praecox.

Features of Pick’s disease

Most often, pathologies of the temporofrontal part of the brain occur between the ages of 55 and 65 years. This is the so-called pre-senile dementia, which occurs earlier than other types of age-related degeneration. One of the key features of Pick’s disease is the primary manifestation of impaired speech and emotional stability. The memory is retained for a long time. The reason is that another part of the brain is responsible for memory. And in this case, it is the anterior zone that suffers, which is responsible for behavior and emotional state. An experienced psychiatrist will immediately determine that a person does not have Alzheimer’s disease, but Pick’s disease.

The problem in diagnosing often arises from overlapping age-related complications. For example, when dementia sets in, memory is lost. Many begin to attribute symptoms to age, fatigue, and other factors.

What causes Pick’s disease

Pick’s disease has been studied for decades. And still, laboratory models cannot fully establish the causes of the formation of degeneration of the anterior part of the brain. At the moment, doctors believe that the main reason for the development of this deviation is a metabolic disorder of the so-called tau protein. Due to this, it was found that often the disease is formed in the genetic code. That is, not everyone has a tendency to it, but only those who have one of the three genes mutated: MAPT, GRN or C9ORF72. It is important to establish here that the causes of Pick’s disease are not physical injuries and injuries to the head.

Is it difficult to diagnose this disease

Experienced psychiatrists use two laboratory methods to diagnose Pick’s disease: FAB (determines frontal dysfunction) and MMSE (psychological state examination). An indicator of the presence of dementia of the temporofrontal part of the brain is high MMSE and very low FAB values. In general, the method of diagnosing Pick’s disease has been tested for years. She is efficient and flawless. But such studies can only be carried out on the appointment of a psychiatrist. Therefore, in any case, the patient needs to seek help from a specialized clinic. This can also be done by a loved one.

The main symptoms of the disease

The main symptoms of Pick ‘s disease include:

– First of all, a person with this mental disorder becomes passive , doing his job with absolutely no initiative and desire;
Apathy in the professional sphere gradually develops into apathy in the way of life (for example, a person ceases to adhere to the rules of personal hygiene);
– Every month the disregard for public opinion is growing and the criticism of one’s own actions is decreasing;
– Lack of control of actions and the inability to plan anything;
– Inappropriate playfulness; – Addiction to alcoholic beverages (this does not apply exclusively to this type of dementia).

Another unusual symptom is the development of feelings of bulimia. That is, a person loses a sense of saturation. He consumes more food and drinks, which may cause excess weight. The rapid increase in body weight with age negatively affects the work of the cardiovascular system. This increases the risk of heart attacks and cardiac arrest.

Treatment of Pick’s disease

The same medications that are used for standard dementia are not suitable for the treatment of Pick’s disease. Therefore, doctors often prescribe memantine and serotonergic drugs. It is best to start the course of treatment at the first or second stage. There are three of them, but at the third stage it will not be possible to restore the activity of the brain. And for the patient, favorable conditions will simply be created for life until the moment of death.

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