Pick ‘s disease, also known as Pick’s disease, is a form of dementia that is associated with changes in personality structure. Since there is no cure, therapy focuses on alleviating the symptoms.
What is Pick’s disease?
Pick’s disease is a condition resembling dementia . It got its name from the neurologist Arnold Pick, who discovered and researched the disease in 1900. Among other things, the neurologist found out how the disease manifests itself and what its course is. The therapy methods have only been developed in the last few decades and only in rare cases promise a complete cure. See dictionaryforall for HNC in Dictionary.
Pick’s disease is characterized by personality changes. This is often accompanied by problems in the social environment, which also cause psychological problems for those affected.
Pick’s disease occurs at a ratio of 3.4/100,000. The factors responsible for their occurrence have not been finally clarified to this day. However, it is believed that the MAPT gene, which encodes the tau protein, is a trigger. In addition, an accumulation of the TDP-43 protein can be observed in those affected.
What is certain is that the disease occurs more often within families. However, what exactly triggers the gene defects mentioned has not been clarified, which makes targeted treatment more difficult. If the corresponding gene changes are present, Pick’s disease will break out in almost all cases. This usually happens between the ages of 50 and 60.
Symptoms, Signs & Ailments
In addition, those affected forget learned rules of conduct and behave accordingly in a conspicuous manner among people.
In detail, those affected suffer from apathy and listlessness. They neglect their personal hygiene, neglect and behave uninhibited in society. Often there is so-called joke addiction and sometimes also sexual innuendos. Those affected lose their ethical values, become criminals and generally behave compulsively. Apathy often alternates with strong euphoria.
As the disease progresses, there are increasing physical symptoms. Those affected lose their ability to speak, suffer from disorientation and later classic dementia with muscle stiffness. This leads to the need for care and the psychological symptoms continue to intensify.
Diagnosis & course of disease
Pick’s disease can be diagnosed by a doctor after an initial suspicion of those affected. Due to the rarity of Pick’s disease, it is imperative to draw up a comprehensive medical history. Any cases of dementia in the family are determined as well as the exact symptoms. Close relatives or friends of those affected are usually consulted for this purpose.
The physical examination essentially consists of nuclear medicine diagnostics, during which the glucose metabolism in the brain is checked. If this is reduced, this indicates Pick’s disease. Reduced blood flow can also be an indication, but must be substantiated by further examinations. These are exclusion diagnoses, which examine the affected person for other forms of dementia in order to be able to rule them out and ultimately diagnose Pick’s disease.
A clear diagnosis is only possible after the death of the person concerned. This involves examining parts of the temporal lobe under a microscope. The so-called “Pick’s bodies”, which are located in the nerve cells of the temporal brain in Pick’s disease, are particularly clear.
Regardless of whether and when the disease is diagnosed, it progresses slowly and with no chance of a cure. If there is only a slight disturbance of memory at the beginning, serious symptoms gradually develop, up to and including muscle stiffness and finally death.
As a result of Pick’s disease, sufferers usually suffer from various personality changes. This mainly leads to psychological and social problems. Especially with children or young people, this can lead to exclusion, bullying or even teasing. Furthermore, the disease leads to non-compliance with certain rules of conduct or behavior, so that the mental development of those affected is also clearly disturbed due to the disease.
A listlessness or states of anxiety can also occur and have a negative effect on everyday life. Pick’s disease can also lead to disorientation and significantly reduce the patient’s coordination and concentration. Those affected are usually dependent on the help of other people in their everyday life and can no longer master it on their own.
However, the patient’s life expectancy is not affected by Pick’s disease. A causal treatment of Pick’s disease is not possible, so that the individual symptoms can be alleviated with the help of various therapies. There are no particular complications either. Medications can also be used, but they can have side effects.
Treatment & Therapy
There is currently no cure for Pick’s disease. Treatment therefore focuses on alleviating the symptoms and delaying the progression of the disease. Various therapy methods such as sport or music are used for this purpose. While physical activity is about strengthening self-control, music and art therapies can be used to evoke and consolidate positive feelings and memories.
From there, various therapies intended to train and maintain the ability to think and learn are used. In addition to the therapy methods mentioned, medication is usually also administered. However, since these sometimes have strong side effects, attempts are now being made to strengthen the self-control and nature of those affected using only alternative therapy methods.
Outlook & Forecast
Pick’s disease usually cannot be completely cured. For this reason, those affected are usually dependent on lifelong therapy to alleviate and limit the symptoms. The symptoms can also worsen significantly without treatment and thus also significantly restrict the life of the person concerned. Therefore, the sooner a doctor is contacted and treatment initiated, the better the further course of this disease. Those affected by Pick’s disease often depend on the help and support of their own families in their everyday lives. This can make everyday life much easier. The symptoms can also be reduced with the help of various therapies.
Direct prevention of Pick’s disease is not possible because it is a hereditary disease. Therefore, the affected person or the patient’s relatives can carry out genetic testing and counseling to prevent the disease from recurring in the children. The disease can only be delayed, but not completely cured. The further course is also strongly dependent on the extent of the disease, so that a general prediction cannot be made here. Pick’s disease may also reduce the life expectancy of those affected.
Because Pick’s disease is a genetic disease, there is a limit to how preventable it is. So it is possible to alleviate the symptoms through memory training and to act preventively through mental activity.
In addition, a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet and enough exercise is important to stay physically and mentally fit for longer. If Pick’s disease then breaks out, the individual stages can possibly be delayed, which ultimately improves the quality of life. Finally, a social environment is extremely important. In the event of an illness, this should be explained about the symptoms and changes in behavior so that it can act as a support as the illness progresses.
In general, Morbus Pick cannot be avoided. If the systems are in place, the disease will break out sooner or later. However, the extent to which this happens depends on how quickly the disease is detected and what measures are taken before and during the illness.
In most cases, patients with Pick’s disease have little or very limited follow-up care because the disease itself cannot be properly cured. Therefore, a doctor should be contacted very early on, so that there are no further complications or other complaints. Most of those affected are dependent on intensive therapy and support from their own family and relatives.
This may also prevent depression or other mental upsets. Furthermore, it is often very important to take various medications in order to limit the symptoms. With this intake, the person concerned should always pay attention to the regular intake and also a correct dosage.
If Pick’s disease is hereditary, genetic testing and counseling is recommended if you wish to have children to prevent the disease from reoccurring. It cannot be generally predicted whether Pick’s disease will lead to a reduced life expectancy of the affected person.
You can do that yourself
Pick’s disease is a serious condition with very limited control. Those affected can use various therapy methods such as sport or music to delay the progression of the disease.
If memory problems are noticed, writing a diary should be started. This strengthens the memories and can therefore be an important support for the patient. Music and art help to stay positive and strengthen memory. The psychological symptoms can also be counteracted with exercise, a balanced diet and avoiding stress. In the later stages of the disease, the sufferer needs the support of friends and family. A social safety net, but also financial security, is particularly important if you need care.
People who suffer from Pick’s disease should speak to the doctor early on about the necessary measures. The doctor can also provide information about alternative therapy methods, for example methods from Chinese medicine or naturopathy. A visit to a specialist center for neurological diseases helps many sufferers to better understand and accept the disease.