As one of the few centers in the region to specialize in Frontotemporal dementia care, we provide expert care close to home.
Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) is a group of related disorders that cause parts of the brain to gradually deteriorate. Most of these problems are in frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. These areas of the brain are important for expressing emotion, language, decision-making and behavioral control.
Early in the disease, FTD can be mistaken for a psychiatric illness, such as depression (feeling low), or bipolar disorder, in which an individual’s mood varies between very high and very low emotions. Because of these confusing symptoms, it can be especially challenging to diagnose FTD.
At the Biggs Institute for Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Diseases at UT Health San Antonio, we can provide an accurate diagnosis more quickly to slow progression of these diseases.
The Biggs Institute offers a specialized Frontotemporal Dementia Clinic, one of the few of its kind in the region. We also have the only clinic that specializes in diagnosing and caring for individuals with both amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and FTD in the State of Texas. Our brain experts (neurologists and neuropsychologists) have advanced training in the diagnosis and management of FTD syndromes, as well as other young-onset dementias.
As an academic center, we welcome referrals from patients, families and other providers seeking diagnostic clarity.
All patients are seen by our team of experts to ensure a precise diagnosis. Our evaluation includes brain imaging, neuropsychological testing, which compares brain functioning to normal behavior, and genetic testing. All of these can all be completed at our clinic, often during the same visit. We then craft personalized treatment plans that emphasize a balance between an individual’s independence and safety. We collaborate closely with the Aphasia Lab at UT Austin, which focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of the loss of speech due to cognitive issues. This helps us provide additional evaluation and treatment for anyone with a suspected diagnosis of primary progressive aphasia (PPA).
Caring for a loved one with FTD can be challenging and our team can provide information and resources for every stage of the disease process. The Biggs team offers regular support groups specifically designed for patients and caregivers living with PPA. We partner closely with the local chapter of the Association for Frontal Temporal Degeneration and refer patients and families to their support group for monthly meetings. We also offer informational talks for those newly diagnosed and collaborate with the UT Health San Antonio School of Nursing to provide additional resources for family members and caregivers through the Caring for the Caregiver program.
The Biggs Institute is involved in research to improve the diagnosis and treatment of frontotemporal dementia, as well as potential cures. Enrolling in clinical trials and research projects provides a better understanding these diseases.
If you have been diagnosed with FTD, contact us to see if participating in a clinical trial is a good choice for you.
UT Health Medical Arts & Research Center
Neurology 8th Floor
8300 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, TX 78229
Make an appointment
Appointments may be requested with or without a physician referral.