Stanford Center for Memory Disorders

Treatment Options for Frontotemporal Dementia

Currently, no treatments are available to cure or slow the progression of FTD. Doctors may prescribe medications to treat symptoms. Antidepressant medications may help treat anxiety and control obsessive-compulsive behaviors and other symptoms. Prescription sleeping medications can help ease insomnia and other sleep disturbances. Antipsychotic medications may reduce irrational and compulsive behaviors.

Behavior modification may help control unacceptable or risky behaviors.

Speech and language pathologists and physical and occupational therapists can help a person adjust to some of the changes caused by FTD.

Living with or managing FTD

Coping with FTD can be frightening, frustrating, and embarrassing for both the person with the disease and family members. Since some symptoms canít be controlled, family members shouldn't take their loved oneís behaviors personally. Families need to maintain their own well-being while ensuring that their loved one is treated with dignity and respect.

Caregivers should learn all they can about FTD and assemble a team of experts to help the family meet the medical, financial, and emotional challenges they are facing.

Itís important to find a doctor knowledgeable about FTD. Other health care specialists who may play a role on the team are home-care nurses, neuropsychologists, genetic counselors, and speech and language, physical, and occupational therapists. Social workers can help patients and caregivers find community resources, such as medical supplies and equipment, nursing care, support groups, respite care, and financial assistance.

Attorney and financial advisors can help families prepare for the later stages of the disease.

Advanced planning will help smooth future transitions for the person and family members and may allow the person to participate in the decision-making process.

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