The quick and nasty run-down of the disease:
- Neither the cause, nor a cure, is known.
- Pick's affects primarily the frontal lobes of the brain.
- It affects people between the ages of 40 and 60, and is quite rare after the age of 60.
- It starts with behavioral changes which can best be described as uninhibited - side-stepping social decorum, not caring, or not noticing, if people's feelings are hurt, possibly hypersexuality.
- Mutism and aphasia are frequently associated, and grow worse as the disease progresses.
- Basic research I've conducted show the disease can run its course in as quickly as 5 years, leading eventually to complete apathy and living in a vegetative state before death. However, documented cases have shown the patient living up to 15 years in this state.
- I've seen conflicting information, which I believe explains all that there is to know, regarding whether this is genetic or not. Some sources say yes while others state there is no genetic proof. Basically, they don't know.
Also, because the age group is so young for sufferers of this disease, support through health care and insurance is spotty, at best.
Looking at this information is daunting. But add "life" to it, and I have tremendous respect for anyone who works in a nursing home or is a private caregiver. Essentially, word of this disease needs to spread so that those who need help may receive it.