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Pick Disease (cont.)

Pick Disease Symptoms

The frontal lobes of the brain are the source of our rational emotional responses and the way we act in response to the world around us. This region of the brain also controls our use of speech and how we express language in all forms. Because Pick disease mostly affects this region of the brain, it is these thinking functions that are most often abnormal in people with the disease.

The symptoms of Pick disease vary widely from person to person. The symptoms are usually very subtle at first and worsen slowly. The rate of worsening also varies from person to person.

The earliest symptoms are usually changes in behavior, mood, or personality. The person may act unlike his or her usual self. The following are common behavioral changes:

  • Apathy (indifference) or withdrawal

  • Severe depression in a person who has never been depressed before

  • Blunting or dullness of emotions

  • Loss of inhibition

  • Impulsive behavior in a usually cautious person

  • Bad manners, rudeness

  • Saying or doing inappropriate things in public

  • Impatience

  • Becoming extroverted, very talkative

  • Inappropriate joking

  • Aggressiveness

  • Restlessness or agitation

  • Poor judgment

  • Paranoia

  • Selfishness

  • Difficulty coping with changes from routine

  • Development of obsessive routines

  • Childlike behavior

  • Changes in sexual behavior

Other common symptoms in Pick disease include the following:

  • Speech problems: The person may have trouble finding the right word, may speak less, or may stop speaking altogether. His or her sentences may be incomplete or organized strangely. The person may lose the ability to understand written, spoken, or signed language.

  • Changes in eating habits: The person may begin overeating, eating greedily, eating excessive amounts of sweets, or drinking large amounts of alcohol. He or she may gain weight.

  • Poor attention: The person may have problems paying attention, concentrating, or carrying on a sustained conversation.

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