Frontotemporal dementia (FTD)

From diagnostic services to individual and family counseling, we are here to provide the care our patients and their families need.

Also known as frontotemporal lobar degeneration.

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) occurs when certain proteins in the brain malfunction and are shaped differently than normal cells. These damaged cells can form clumps in the frontal and temporal lobes, blocking normal brain functioning and causing this progressive disease.

FTD Symptoms

For those less than age 60, FTD is the leading cause of dementia. The majority of patients experience symptoms between the ages of 45 and 64, though studies have shown FTD can affect those in their 20s, 70s and 80s.

People with FTD often come to the doctor’s office because of gradual changes in behavior or personality. They also may have trouble expressing themselves or weakness or slowing of movement.

Symptoms include:

  • Changes in personality
  • Increased apathy
  • Loss of empathy
  • Disinhibition or impulsive behaviors
  • Cognitive change
  • Executive dysfunction

Learn about the different types of FTD >>

Diagnosing FTD

Since there currently is no single diagnostic test for frontotemporal dementia, our patient care team may use a few of the following tests for diagnosis:

  • Neurological testing
  • Physical exam
  • Brain scans
  • Blood tests


Currently there is no cure for frontotemporal dementia, but there are medications to help manage symptoms.

We are committed to providing the best treatments for our patients. To do this, we are leading breakthroughs with clinical trials to find new and better ways to treat and prevent frontotemporal dementia.

View available clinical trials >>

Causes and risks of FTD

The exact causes of frontotemporal dementia are unknown.

Risks include having a family history of dementia.

FTD Support groups

When: In-person every fourth Monday at 10:30am

For more information or to register, contact Dionne Coston at or 210-627-4726.

*This group is not hosted by the Biggs Institute.

Learn about frontotemporal dementia care at the Biggs Institute

To schedule a screening appointment, call

Featured video from the Biggs Institute on frontotemporal dementia

Changing Behaviors with Frontotemporal Dementia

Join A. Campbell Sullivan, PSYD, ABPP-CN, neuropsychologist at the Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Diseases, as she presents dialogue on how to anticipate, recognize and help people with Frontotemporal Dementia.