Definition

Named after the first doctor to describe it, Pick's disease is an incurable and unique fronto-temporal neurodegenerative disease that causes about 0.4-2 percent of dementia. Symptoms usually appear in people 40 to 60 years slowly leading to declining mental abilities. It gradually destroys the brain cells and damages their function, disturbing cognitive processes such as problem solving, memory and reasoning. One's ability to use as well as understand spoken, written and signed language is also affected.

Diagnosis

Patients with Pick disease have a difficulty in speaking and writing. They have mood swings and changes in their personality, particularly exhibiting apathy, severe depression where it has never happened before, impulsive behavior for cautious persons, bad manners, rudeness, saying and doing improper things publicly, aggression, poor judgment, paranoia and selfishness.

Treatment

No cure exists for Pick's disease. What are available are medications that lessen clinical symptoms such cholinesterase inhibitors, antidepressants/anxiolytics, and antipsychotics.

Symptoms

What causes the disease is still not known to science. It is not genetic, nor is it caused by environmental factors.

Causes

A biopsy is necessary to confirm diagnosis of the disorder. This means that a small sample of the patient's brain is going to be tested by a neurosurgeon. Without this procedure, the diagnosis is based on symptoms and elimination of other conditions. Doctors are going to conduct medical interviews, mental examinations, imaging studies, lab tests, and physical examinations.