frontotemporal dementia

variants: also frontotemporal degeneration

Medical Definition of frontotemporal dementia

: any of several degenerative brain diseases that are caused by progressive atrophic changes in the frontal or temporal lobes, that usually start in late middle age, that result in changes to behavior and personality (such as impulsiveness, social impropriety, and apathy) and typically impaired language function, and that lead in advanced cases to a profound decline in cognitive and language functioning Alzheimer disease is the most common cause of dementia, but similar impairment of intellectual functioning occurs with many other brain disorders, such as frontotemporal dementia (FTD). After AD, FTD is the second most prevalent cause of early-onset dementia (occurring before age 65 years).— M. J. Friedrich, Journal of the American Medical Association, 11 July 2007

Note: Pick's disease and sometimes progressive supranuclear palsy are classified as frontotemporal dementias.

abbreviation FTD

Learn More About frontotemporal dementia

Dictionary Entries Near frontotemporal dementia


frontotemporal dementia


See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Frontotemporal dementia.” Medical Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!