What is Pick's disease?
Pick’s disease is a rare, progressive and irreversible form of dementia. Dementia means that the brain does not function normally and patients can have difficulty with language, behavior, cognition (thinking), judgment, and memory. Memory changes are seen in other forms of dementia like Alzheimer’s disease. Unlike Alzheimer’s which can affect many different parts of the brain, Pick’s disease only affects certain areas of the brain.
Language and neurological changes caused by Pick's disease include:
- decrease in writing or reading skills.
- “echoing,” or repeating what was just said.
- inability to speak, difficulty speaking, or trouble understanding speech.
- increased memory loss.
- physical weakness.
- shrinking vocabulary.
- trouble finding the right word.
What causes pick's disease?
Pick’s disease is caused by abnormal amounts or types of a nerve cell protein (tau) that is found in all nerve cells. This abnormal protein is call Pick bodies or Pick cells. Abnormal amounts or different types of this protein in the brain’s frontal and temporal lobe nerve cells causes degeneration of nerve cells which results in shrinkage = of the brain tissue.