What Are the 7 Stages of Frontotemporal Dementia: Complete Guide

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What are the 7 stages of frontotemporal dementia Complete Guide
Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a complex neurological disorder that is relatively rare. It occurs due to damage to the frontal and temporal regions of the brain, which results in shrinkage of the lobes. The primary causes of FTD are still unknown, but researchers have observed microscopic particles known as Pick bodies, which contain abnormal levels of protein.

However, symptoms of FDI can vary from person to person, and it can be behavioral, emotional, communicational etc. But there are some stages involved in the FDI and this blog aims to shed light on the main 7 stages of it.


Stages of FTD:


FTD can be divided into seven stages, each with its own characteristics and challenges. Here is an overview of the stages of FTD and what to expect from each one.


Stage 1: Impairment of Cognitive Ability


FTD is a well-known condition that primarily affects people’s behavior, emotions, and communication. However, in the early stages of the condition, there may not be any noticeable signs or symptoms that can significantly impact a person’s daily routine.

Whether you’re in the first, second, or third stage of FTD, the illness may not be apparent or serious. This gradual onset can lead to a delayed diagnosis, which highlights the importance of raising awareness about FTD and promoting regular cognitive assessments, especially for individuals within the at-risk age group.



Stage 2:  Memory Loss 


Memory loss is one of the symptoms of this stage. Suppose you just entered a room and placed your keys on the table. After a while, you panic and can’t find them. Then you start wondering whether you left the keys somewhere or lost them.

Yet, it seems quite common, doesn’t it? Many people globally experience forgetfulness as they age, and this mild change cannot be diagnosed by a doctor.


Memory loss


Stage 3:  Mild Cognitive impairment 


As memory and cognitive challenges become more consistent and apparent to both caregivers and family members, an individual is considered to be experiencing mild cognitive decline, also known as mild cognitive impairment (MCI). In stage, there is typically a significant impact on day-to-day functioning.

They may forget to go on the appointment or the events, may face short term memory loss, difficulty speaking and verbal repetition, getting lost while travelling etc.



Stage 4:  Behavioral Shifts


In the early stages of FTD, you might start noticing some changes in a person’s personality. These changes become more noticeable as time goes on.
As we discussed earlier, the symptoms in stages 1, 2, and 3 are so mild that they can’t be officially diagnosed by professionals. It’s only in the fourth stage that visible signs of dementia start to show, leading to an official diagnosis. During this stage, your doctor will look for major signs that the dementia is progressing. Some of these symptoms may include:

  • Lack of responsiveness
  • Mood swings
  • Struggling with everyday tasks
  • Difficulty socializing
  • Memory lapses


So, if you see any of these signs in a loved one, it’s important to seek medical help and support. The earlier the diagnosis, the better chance we have of managing the symptoms and providing the necessary care.



Stage 5:  Language Impairment


This stage is the “mid-stage” of dementia which means that the normal functioning of life is disrupted. In stage 5 dementia, a person may require more intense support and supervision. They hang onto the personal information, but they may not remember other things.

In stage 5 dementia, a person may require more intense support and supervision. Although they may hold onto personal information, they may struggle to remember other things. For instance, they may have difficulty recalling the names of their grandchildren or their address. This stage indicates an increased need for caregiving involvement due to the intensification of memory loss.


Severe Decline in Normal Functioning


Stage 6: Severe Decline in Normal Functioning


The complex nature of symptoms increases as dementia reaches the 6th stage, raising questions whether a full-time caretaker is necessary or not.

Seniors who are experiencing fairly severe dementia may find it difficult to manage their sleep, navigate social situations, and behave appropriately in public. In order to be proactive, you should keep an eye on your loved one’s symptoms, evaluate their ability to perform activities of daily living, and explore other possibilities for care, such as home care services or memory care centers.



Stage 7:  The Final Stage of FTD


On the last few days, people stop caring for themselves. Their ability to speak is lost and their movement become less impaired. They cannot even chew, swallow and breathe properly.

The become unable to speak and their ability to communicate is lost properly. They always need someone to help them because of their lack of physical movements.





Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a complex neurological disorder that affects people’s behavior, emotions, and communication. The stages of FTD can vary from person to person, with symptoms ranging from mild cognitive impairment to severe decline in functioning. By understanding these stages of FTD, you can endeavor to support and provide the best care for our loved ones affected by this challenging disorder.



Want to learn more?

Reach us at wecare@considracare.com, or call us at 1-855-410-7971, and we will be happy to assist. Discover more tips in our information booklets or on our resources page.





1. What causes FTD?

The primary causes of FTD are still unknown, but abnormal protein levels in the brain have been observed.


2. How does FTD progress?

FTD progresses through seven stages, each with its own characteristics and challenges.


3. What are the early signs of FTD?

Early signs of FTD can include changes in behavior, emotions, and communication.


4. How is FTD diagnosed and treated?

FTD is diagnosed through cognitive assessments and medical evaluations. Treatment focuses on managing symptoms and providing care.


5. What can be expected in the later stages of FTD?

In later stages of FTD, individuals may experience severe memory loss, language impairment, and a decline in functioning and movement. Caregiving involvement becomes crucial.


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