Frontal lobe dementia, more properly referred to as frontotemporal dementia, is described by Mayo Clinic as an umbrella term used to for a number of uncommon brain disorders. These disorders inflict progressive cell degeneration in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain.
The frontal lobe (located directly behind the forehead) and the temporal lobe (located behind the ears), control behavior, language, planning and judgement and certain types of movement, according to the Alzheimer's Association. As these areas atrophy, or shrink, behavior and personality, language usage and certain types of movements may all become compromised, as explained by the Alzheimer's Association. Frontotemporal dementia is often misdiagnosed as a psychiatric problem or Alzheimer's disease and is usually seen in patients aged 40 to 75, according to Mayo Clinic.
The Alzheimer's Association separates frontotemporal lobe dementia disorders into three main categories: behavioral variant, primary progressive aphasia and movement disorders. Behavioral variant symptoms may be subtle and mistaken for depression initially but often develop into more severe forms of socially inappropriate behaviors, as reported by the Alzheimer's Association. Primary progressive aphasia affects language skills early on and can also impact behavior as it progresses. Movement disorders impact involuntary, automatic muscle function and may cause lack of coordination, shakiness and walking or balance problems.