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Rare brain disorder made a U.S. disease priority

By Tim Sandle     Aug 14, 2014 in Health
Frontotemporal degeneration (FTD), a disease process that results in progressive damage to the temporal or frontal lobes of the brain, has been made a major disease priority in the U.S.
The FTD condition has been formally included in national research priorities to cure Alzheimer's disease and other dementias by 2025, according to the Association of Frontotemporal Degeneration (AFTD).
FTD affects more than 50,000 patients living in the U.S. It is a debilitating form of dementia that affects the frontal and/or temporal lobes of the brain. FTD affects people typically between ages 50 and 60 and erodes their ability to speak, move and/or behave within social norms. There is no known cure for FTD. Current treatments may address symptoms but do not alter or slow disease progression. FTD is the second most common cause of young onset dementia, FTD is often initially misdiagnosed as a psychiatric problem, Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease.
The action has been triggered by the AFTD's research white paper – “FTD Research and Drug Development Landscape Analysis”. The report examines the current state and activity in FTD research; how FTD fits into the larger world view of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias; as well as FTD's role in neurological diseases research.
Federal officials included FTD research priorities in an updated 2014 plan introduced at a recent meeting of the National Alzheimer's Project Act (NAPA) Advisory Council. NAPA is the premier national strategic framework for advancing research on treatment, prevention and cures for Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.
The increased attention on FTD should lead to additional research funding as well as improved care and resources for patients and caregivers. Furthermore, research gains in FTD have the potential to lead to advances in other neurodegenerative diseases.
More about Brain, Disease, Frontotemporal degeneration, Alzheimer's
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