Pick's disease is a rare disorder
, similar to Alzheimer's
that involves deterioration in mental functions due to changes in brain tissue
, including shrinking of brain tissue and the presence of abnormal bodies (known as Pick’s bodies) in the nerve cell
s of the affected areas of the brain
It affects about 10 people per million
and is is more common in women than men. The average age of onset is 54 years, but cases have been known to occur in patients as young as 20.
Much like Alzheimer's the onset tends to be slow and insidious. The frontal and temporal lobes of the brain are affected. The neurons in these areas contain abnormal material. There are no plaques but there are tangles made of tau protein.
Symptoms are much like those of Alzheimer's and include a wide variety of behavioural, linguistic and physical changes. No known treatment can cure the disease, and sufferers eventually need 24 hour a day care.