Symptoms of Persons with FTD Worsening During COVID-19, Survey Shows

Portrait of a man with protective mask looking through window while he is in home isolation during coronavirus/COVID-19 quarantine.

The decline in behavioral symptoms and social cognition during the COVID-19 pandemic has been more accelerated in persons living in early FTD compared to those with mild Alzheimer’s symptoms, a recent survey shows.

Published in the journal Alzheimer’s and Dementia: Translational Research and Clinical Interventions on January 15, the survey comprised 100 participants, half of whom had mild Alzheimer’s disease (AD), with the remaining living in early FTD. Findings from the survey concluded that “behavior symptoms significantly worsened in both FTD and AD with greater worsening in FTD.”

Such symptoms may put persons with FTD at greater risk of COVID-19, as Dr. Ted Huey of the AFTD Medical Advisory Council noted in an Expert Letter published on the AFTD website. “People with FTD can have particular trouble adapting their behavior to new circumstances, such as the necessity for social distancing,” he wrote.

The Alzheimer’s and Dementia survey further showed the persons living in early FTD reported having difficulty in “adapting to the social changes brought on by the pandemic such as planning their grocery shopping,” and described having “greater difficulty empathizing with the public.”

The study concluded that “caregivers of both FTD and AD patients experienced severely increased caregiver burden with caregivers of FTD experiencing significantly higher burden.”

Read the full findings of the study.

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