The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (AFTD) is hosting its inaugural Hope Rising Benefit Sept. 29, to increase awareness of frontotemporal degeneration (FTD) and raise funds to support AFTD’s collaborative research, education for healthcare professionals and advocacy for affordable services.
FTD is a disease process that damages the temporal and/or frontal lobes of the brain progressively. It causes a series of other brain disorders that share clinical features and also is commonly referred to as “frontotemporal dementia,” frontotemporal lobar degeneration, or Picks disease.
FTD is different than other types of dementia in two important ways:
- The hallmark of FTD is gradual, progressive decline in behavior, with memory usually relatively preserved. As the disease progresses, it becomes increasingly difficult for people to plan or organize activities, behave according to commonly accepted social norms at work, interact with others, or care for themselves. People with FTD usually become increasingly dependent on caregivers.
- Onset of FTD often occurs in one’s 50s and 60s, but could be seen as early as 21 and as late as 80 years. Around 60% of cases will occur in people 45 to 64. FTD can affect work and family in a way dementia in older patients, such as Alzheimer’s, does not.
The AFTD offers a wide set of services to FTD patients and their families. One of these resources is a book, published in 2013 and available for free, titled “The Doctor Thinks It’s FTD. Now What?” aimed to help newly diagnosed patients navigate through their new-found world of FTD.
The AFTD offers support services online and by geographical region, as well as planning for care services, including managing health care services and legal and financial counseling. Furthermore, the AFTD offers several opportunities for volunteer engagement for those who wish to support them and the FTD community.
The Sept. 29 Hope Rising Benefit will be held at the Pierre Hotel, 2E 61st St., New York. Check-in begins at 5:30 p.m. and the event begins at 7. David Zaslav, president and chief executive officer of Discovery Communications, will be at the event, which will be hosted by Paula Zahn, an American journalist and newscaster.