Pick’s Disease vs. Alzheimer’s

They say you learn something new everyday and the other day I saw a tweet that mentioned Alzheimer’s vs. Pick’s Disease. So of course I looked because Alzheimer’s was mentioned and here’s what I learned:

I learned it is another form of a degenerative brain disease; here’s the explanation described on Everyday Health;

Pick’s Disease vs. Alzheimer’s

Q: My mother has recently been diagnosed with Pick’s disease. Can you explain the difference between that and Alzheimer’s? And can you give me some suggestions on how to go about finding someone who can help my dad care for her?

–Cathie, California
A: Pick’s disease causes a slow shrinking of brain cells due to an excess protein buildup. This leads to a focal atrophy (loss of tissue) of the frontal lobe of the brain, causing deterioration in mental function and particularly affecting personality, behavior, and thinking; unfortunately, you can also expect a decline in your mother’s ability to speak coherently. In contrast, Alzheimer’s diseaseis more diffuse in the brain and typically affects memory.My advice is to take your mother to a neurologist, psychiatrist, or geriatrician who specializes in treating patients with Pick’s disease and who can help your family develop a plan for treatment and caregiving. If there are other family members who can help with the day-to-day care, it’s important to work out a schedule to relieve your father or he will become both physically and emotionally exhausted. If there are no family members who can help, you might consider paid home health aides to give your father breaks (admittedly, the costs add up). To find a competent aide, ask your doctor for a recommendation or call upon a certified home health agency, such as a visiting nurse service. You can also find support online, from sites like the Pick’s Disease Support Group.Learn more in the Everyday Health Alzheimer’s Disease Center.
Last Updated: 09/06/2006
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