Where can I find information about Pick’s disease? What kind of support is available?

Many other conditions and illnesses have deeper support networks and more easily attainable information than Pick’s disease. But help is out there, and you can do certain things to help you or your loved one, regardless.

Pick’s disease is a form of dementia manifested by a slowly progressive deterioration of social skills and changes in personality, accompanied by impaired intellect, memory and language, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). The disease varies in how it affects individuals, but there are some common symptoms that can appear at various stages of the disease. These include difficulty thinking, loss of memory, emotional dullness, lack of spontaneity, loss of moral judgment and progressive dementia.

The range of onset can be from 20 to 80 years of age, though it most often affects people 40 to 60. The cause of the disease is not known, though researchers have discovered that patients typically have atrophy of the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. Some nerve cells have characteristic abnormalities when viewed under a microscope at autopsy.

There is no known cure for Pick’s but certain symptoms can be treated. Along with NINDS, the National Institute on Aging (NIA)performs research on Pick’s.

A fantastic online Pick’s disease support group is based in the United Kingdom and can be found here.  You also can contact the Alzheimer’s Association or your local area Agency on Aging to inquire about support groups in your area. If there isn’t one available, be proactive and contact a local social service agency to start one. Receiving support from others, and giving it back to others in your situation, is invaluable.