The Journal Gazette
Thursday, February 13, 2020 1:00 am


Dementia diagnosis distinct from Alzheimer's

“Unfulfilled dementia wishes” (Feb. 3) shared information about a little-known brain disease called frontotemporal dementia, which should not be confused with Alzheimer's disease.

Frontotemporal dementia affects people who are still actively employed in the middle years of their lives (ages 45-60). My cousin was one of those individuals. His symptoms were nonspecific in the beginning – less conversation, difficulty in finding the right words and progressing to inability to speak, dress or care for himself.

Diagnosis is difficult because symptoms mimic personality disorders and depression. Finally, a PET scan revealed shrinkage in the frontal lobe of his brain and we had a diagnosis. Frontotemporal dementia shrinks portions of the frontal and temporal lobes, which are associated with personality, behavior and language. Clumps of abnormal proteins build up in these areas and decline over several years leads eventually to death. My cousin died a few months ago, unable to move or communicate but surrounded by a family who loved him.

At this time, there is no cure, but researchers continue to seek one. We donated my cousin's brain to neuroscience researchers at Indiana University with prayers that his suffering may help someone else in the future. God bless Susan Saran as she navigates frontotemporal dementia. It's a diagnosis that no one should have to receive, and a cure is still elusive.

Sue Johnson

Fort Wayne

The continuing fight against troubling issue

Thank you to Ashley Sloboda and The Journal Gazette for the article: “Homeless students on rise in US: Study (Jan. 31).” I started collecting clothes for Fort Wayne Community Schools, with the support of the First Presbyterian Church, about 10 years ago. We all hoped the number of needy children in the city would lessen in time. At the time it was estimated that 250 to 300 children would require clothing services during the school year. However, the need has steadily increased to 1,400 in recent years. Reasons for this include a rise in homeless children and availability of clothes for school. We all know that a child must be appropriately dressed and fed to be successful in life. Thank you all for your assistance.

Annelie Collie

Deacon, First Presbyterian Church

Fort Wayne

President rises above speaker's disrespect

Some thoughts after watching the State of the Union:

The speaker of the House and the liberal side of Congress decry President Donald Trump's behavior. They have become the object of their extreme dislike.

In school we teach children not to bully. We teach sportsmanship. Up to high school graduation, we even teach respect for our governmental institutions and elders. We admire discipline; we hear that women have to have so much more of it than men. Women have to work so much harder and be so much better. Apparently not on this night.

Our president, on the other hand, gave us an example of how to rise above this hypocrisy. He reminded me of this line from Rudyard Kipling's poem, “If”: “If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you...”

Diane Jones

Fort Wayne 

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