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Symptoms and Signs of Pick Disease

Doctor's Notes on Pick Disease

Pick disease (also termed frontotemporal dementia) is a syndrome that causes damage to mainly the frontal lobes of the brain. Symptoms and signs vary in individuals but in general, are behavior changes and/or speech problems that slowly develop (start usually at ages 40-60) and progressively worsen. Behavior changes may include one or more of the following; apathy, depression, dull emotions, impulsiveness, inappropriate/rudeness, aggressive, poor judgement, paranoid, selfish, obsessive, childish, change in sexual behavior and others. Speech problems vary from not finding the correct words, sentence disorganization to a reduction or cessation of speaking. The person may lose the ability to read, write, speak or use sign language.

The cause of Pick disease is not known, However, in Pick disease, abnormal proteins termed Pick bodies are found in brain neurons; they swell and cease to function so the Pick bodies may play a role in the disease. Pick disease is similar to Alzheimer’s disease in that it is progressive and can be devastating; unfortunately, neither are curable.

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.