Pick's disease

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Pick's disease is senile dementia, a progressive loss of mental faculties due to aging. It evolves rapidly, causing intellectual deterioration, and is characterized by a decrease in the volume of brain mass. This disease mainly affects the frontal lobe and temporal lobes (on the sides) of the brain. Pick's disease usually appears earlier than other, Alzheimer-type, dementias. Some neurologists explain the origin of the disease by an accumulation of excess zinc particles in the brain. This disease is now most often associated with frontotemporal dementia.


The symptoms of Pick's disease are:
  • initially, behavioral disorders;
  • then, the appearance of a frontal lobe syndrome with mood disorders (depression, indifference or otherwise exaltation), loss of interest and isolation and self-neglect;
  • a progressive loss of intellectual abilities;
  • Quickly, many other fields of cognitive abilities such as memory, speech and understanding, executive functions (judgment, reasoning, organization), and recognition are gradually altered.


The diagnosis of Pick's disease is based on the early signs of dementia, often preceded by behavioral disorders. Neuropsychological tests can be performed to assess cognitive function and brain imaging, CT or MRI, may reveal atrophy (decrease in volume) of the cerebral lobes involved. Other more specialized tests, such as a PET scan, are sometimes useful.


There is no treatment of Pick's disease. Progressive deterioration is inevitable.