How is frontotemporal lobe dementia with motor neuron disease (FTD/MND) treated?

Updated: Apr 11, 2017
  • Author: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA; Chief Editor: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA  more...
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Answer

Answer

Treatment strategies for FTD may apply to FTD/MND, but this is not known for certain. Current treatments mainly are supportive and directed toward the features of MND.

Evaluate and treat sialorrhea, impaired breathing, swallowing, and mobility. There is no surgical treatment for FTD/MND, but consider gastrostomy tube feeding for patients with severe bulbar symptoms, severe dysphagia, and relatively mild dementia and limb weakness. Prior to gastrostomy, mechanically soft diets can be tried. [#TreatmentDiet]

Consider neuroprotective agents (eg, riluzole, gabapentin) or nutritional supplements (eg, creatine) to preserve muscle bulk, but note that their efficacy in FTD/MND is even more uncertain than it is in MND.

Depending on the patient's occupation and level of cognitive and neurologic dysfunction, medical leave of absence or early retirement may be advisable.


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