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Category: Dementia

Exploring the Depths of Episodic Memory

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Embarking on a Journey Through Time: Exploring the Depths of Episodic Memory

The concept of time travel has long captured the imagination of humanity, from the futuristic time machines of H.G. Wells to the iconic DeLorean in “Back to the Future,” the idea of traversing through the annals of history has fueled countless narratives and dreams. But what if time travel were more than just a figment of our imagination? What if we could truly delve into the past, reliving moments etched in the tapestry of time?

While the notion of physically journeying through time remains firmly in the realm of fiction, the human mind possesses its own form of time travel: episodic memory. Episodic memory is a unique facet of human cognition, allowing us to mentally transport ourselves back to specific moments in our past, rekindling emotions, sensations, and experiences long since passed. In essence, it serves as our personal time machine, enabling us to revisit cherished memories or learn from past mistakes.

Imagine, for a moment, the ability to relive your fondest childhood memories with the clarity and vividness of the present moment. Episodic memory grants us this extraordinary capability, offering a window into our personal history that is as immersive as it is introspective. Whether it’s recalling the exhilaration of your first bicycle ride or the warmth of a family gathering, these memories not only shape our sense of self but also provide a sense of continuity amidst the ceaseless march of time.

However, like any journey through time, the realm of episodic memory is not without its complexities and intricacies. Memories are not static entities but rather dynamic constructs that are subject to the vagaries of perception, interpretation, and time itself. As such, our recollections may undergo subtle alterations with each act of retrieval, influenced by our present emotions, biases, and perspectives.

Moreover, the human mind is not impervious to the passage of time, and as the years unfold, memories may fade, become fragmented, or be altogether lost to the recesses of our consciousness. Yet, even in the face of such impermanence, episodic memory endures as a testament to the richness of the human experience, preserving moments both trivial and profound within the recesses of our minds.

But what if we could transcend the confines of our individual memories and venture beyond the boundaries of our own lives? What if we could bear witness to pivotal moments in history or gain insights into the lives of our ancestors? While the prospect of such temporal exploration remains the stuff of dreams, the power of episodic memory offers a glimpse into the past that is uniquely our own.

In essence, the journey through episodic memory is a deeply personal and profoundly human experience. It is a voyage through the labyrinthine corridors of our minds, where each memory serves as a waypoint along the continuum of our lives. Whether we choose to revisit moments of joy, confront the ghosts of our past, or simply revel in the tapestry of human experience, episodic memory invites us to embark on a journey through time unlike any other.

So, as we contemplate the mysteries of the past and the possibilities of the future, let us not forget the extraordinary gift that resides within each of us: the ability to travel through time, not through the machinations of science or technology, but through the boundless expanse of our own consciousness. For in the realm of episodic memory, the past is not merely a distant echo but a living, breathing testament to the beauty and complexity of the human experience.

What is Episodic Memory

Episodic memory is a type of long-term memory that involves the recollection of specific events, situations, and experiences in one’s life. It allows individuals to remember past personal experiences in vivid detail, including the time, place, people involved, emotions felt, and other contextual details. Episodic memory is often contrasted with semantic memory, which involves the recall of general facts and knowledge not tied to a specific event or context.

Key features of episodic memory include:

  1. Temporal Context: Episodic memories are associated with a specific time and place. Individuals can often recall when and where an event occurred, providing a temporal context for the memory.
  2. Subjective Experience: Episodic memories are characterized by the individual’s subjective experience of the event. This includes the emotions, thoughts, and sensations experienced at the time of the event.
  3. Autobiographical Nature: Episodic memories are typically autobiographical in nature, relating to events that happened to the individual personally. These memories contribute to one’s sense of self and personal identity.
  4. Rich Detail: Episodic memories often contain rich and detailed information about the event, including sensory perceptions (such as sights, sounds, smells) and other contextual details.
  5. Recollection and Retrieval: Episodic memories can be consciously recalled and retrieved when needed. However, the accuracy and completeness of recall may vary over time and can be influenced by various factors such as emotion, context, and cognitive processes.

Episodic memory plays a crucial role in various cognitive functions, including learning, decision-making, and future planning. By drawing on past experiences, individuals can make informed choices, anticipate future events, and navigate their environment more effectively. Additionally, episodic memory contributes to the richness of human experience, allowing individuals to reminisce about significant life events and maintain connections with their past selves and others.

Neuroscientific research suggests that the hippocampus, a brain structure located in the medial temporal lobe, plays a central role in the formation and retrieval of episodic memories. Other brain regions, including the prefrontal cortex and medial temporal lobe structures like the amygdala and entorhinal cortex, also contribute to various aspects of episodic memory processing.

Overall, episodic memory is a fundamental aspect of human cognition, enabling individuals to mentally travel back in time and re-experience the moments that shape their lives. It provides a unique window into the past, fostering self-reflection, emotional connection, and a deeper understanding of one’s own life story.

Unveiling the Future of Brain Mapping and Memory Recall: Revolutionizing Healthcare with Brain Chips

In the evolving world of neuroscience and medical technology, the exploration of the human brain continues to unveil groundbreaking discoveries and innovations. Among the most promising advancements on the horizon are brain mapping and brain chips—technological marvels poised to revolutionize the way we understand and interact with the complex workings of the mind. As researchers delve deeper into the intricacies of brain function, the potential for enhancing memory recall and aiding individuals with conditions such as dementia and brain injury has never been more promising.

Brain mapping, the process of comprehensively charting the structure and activity of the brain, has emerged as a powerful tool in unraveling the mysteries of cognition and memory. Through techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG), and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), scientists can visualize neural networks, track information processing, and pinpoint regions responsible for various cognitive functions.

In tandem with brain mapping, the development of brain chips—implantable devices designed to interface directly with the brain—promises to unlock new frontiers in memory recall and cognitive enhancement. These chips, often referred to as neural implants or neuroprosthetics, have the potential to restore lost functions, augment cognitive abilities, and even facilitate communication between the brain and external devices.

One of the most tantalizing prospects of brain chips lies in their ability to enhance memory recall. By directly interfacing with neural circuits associated with memory formation and retrieval, these implants could offer individuals unprecedented control over their recollection abilities. Imagine being able to effortlessly access and replay cherished memories with the clarity and detail of the original experience, or to bolster cognitive function by augmenting working memory capacity.

For individuals struggling with conditions such as dementia or traumatic brain injury (TBI), the potential benefits of memory-enhancing brain chips are particularly profound. Dementia, characterized by progressive memory loss and cognitive decline, robs individuals of their most cherished memories and robs them of their ability to navigate daily life. Similarly, TBI can result in cognitive impairments and memory deficits that profoundly impact an individual’s quality of life.

Brain chips offer a glimmer of hope for these individuals, providing a means to store and back up memories, essentially creating a digital repository of one’s life experiences. By encoding memories onto neural implants, individuals could preserve precious moments and safeguard them against the ravages of neurodegenerative diseases or traumatic injury. Moreover, the ability to selectively retrieve and reinforce memories could facilitate cognitive rehabilitation and improve overall brain function.

In addition to memory recall, brain chips hold promise for a myriad of other applications in healthcare and beyond. From restoring motor function in individuals with paralysis to treating psychiatric disorders such as depression and anxiety, these implants represent a transformative leap forward in our quest to unlock the full potential of the human brain.

Of course, the development and widespread adoption of brain chips are not without challenges and ethical considerations. Concerns regarding privacy, consent, and the potential for misuse must be carefully addressed to ensure the responsible and equitable deployment of these technologies. Moreover, rigorous research and clinical trials are needed to validate the safety, efficacy, and long-term effects of neural implants in diverse populations.

As we stand on the cusp of a new era in neuroscience and neurotechnology, the future of brain mapping and memory recall holds immense promise for individuals worldwide. Through innovative approaches and interdisciplinary collaboration, we have the opportunity to harness the power of the brain to improve health, enhance cognition, and transform lives in ways once thought impossible. With each new discovery and technological breakthrough, we inch closer to realizing the full potential of the most complex organ in the human body—the remarkable human brain.


The ability to recall memories stands as a cornerstone of human experience, shaping our identity, guiding our decisions, and enriching our lives with past experiences. Whether through the intricate workings of our own minds or the potential promise of emerging technologies such as brain chips, the journey of memory recall is one imbued with profound significance and endless possibility.

As we navigate the complexities of memory, from the fleeting recollections of everyday life to the deeply ingrained narratives that define us, it becomes evident that our ability to remember is not merely a passive process but an active and dynamic engagement with the past. Each memory we cherish, each moment we relive, serves as a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the enduring power of the mind to transcend the boundaries of time and space.

Looking ahead, as we continue to unravel the mysteries of memory and cognition, let us not only strive to unlock the secrets of the human brain but also to harness this knowledge for the betterment of humanity. Whether it be through innovative therapies for neurological disorders, advancements in cognitive enhancement, or the preservation of cherished memories for generations to come, the future of memory recall holds the promise of healing, discovery, and transformation.

Ultimately, in the intricate dance between past, present, and future, the ability to recall memories serves as a guiding light, illuminating the path forward with the wisdom and insight gleaned from our shared journey through time. As we embrace the gift of memory, let us cherish each moment, treasure each recollection, and celebrate the enduring legacy of the human experience. For in the labyrinth of memory, we discover not only who we are but also the boundless potential of what we may yet become.

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Understanding Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): A Comprehensive Guide

Understanding Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): A Comprehensive Guide

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) stands out as a cornerstone approach, offering effective strategies for managing a variety of psychological issues. Developed in the 1960s by Dr. Aaron T. Beck, CBT has since evolved into one of the most widely practiced forms of therapy, with a robust body of research supporting its efficacy. Let’s delve into what CBT entails, its principles, techniques, and the wide range of conditions it can help address.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?

At its core, CBT is a psychotherapeutic approach that focuses on the connection between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Unlike some traditional forms of therapy that dwell extensively on past experiences, CBT primarily looks to the present and future, aiming to identify and modify unhelpful patterns of thinking and behavior that contribute to psychological distress.

Key Principles of CBT

  1. Cognitive Restructuring: This principle involves identifying and challenging negative or distorted thought patterns, often referred to as cognitive distortions. By recognizing and altering these distortions, individuals can change their emotional responses and behaviors.
  2. Behavioral Activation: CBT emphasizes the importance of engaging in activities that bring pleasure or a sense of accomplishment, even when one may not feel motivated to do so. This principle aims to counteract the withdrawal and avoidance tendencies commonly observed in various mental health conditions.
  3. Exposure Therapy: For individuals struggling with anxiety disorders or phobias, CBT often incorporates exposure techniques. Through gradual and systematic exposure to feared situations or stimuli, individuals can learn to confront and tolerate their anxieties, leading to a reduction in symptoms over time.
  4. Skill Building: CBT equips individuals with practical skills and coping strategies to manage stress, regulate emotions, and solve problems effectively. These skills may include relaxation techniques, assertiveness training, or communication skills.

Common Techniques Used in CBT

  1. Self-Monitoring: Keeping a record of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors can provide valuable insights into the patterns contributing to distress. This may involve maintaining a journal or utilizing specialized worksheets to track relevant information.
  2. Thought Records: Thought records are tools used to examine and challenge negative or irrational thoughts. By identifying the situation that triggered the thought, the associated emotions, and evidence supporting or refuting the thought, individuals can develop a more balanced perspective.
  3. Behavioral Experiments: These involve testing the accuracy of one’s beliefs or predictions through behavioral experiments. By conducting real-world experiments, individuals can gather evidence to challenge their assumptions and develop more adaptive beliefs.
  4. Relaxation and Mindfulness: CBT often incorporates techniques such as deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, and mindfulness meditation to help individuals manage stress and increase present-moment awareness.

Applications of CBT

CBT has demonstrated efficacy in treating a wide range of psychological disorders, including:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders (e.g., generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Eating disorders (e.g., bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder)
  • Substance use disorders
  • Insomnia
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Schizophrenia (as an adjunctive treatment)

Additionally, CBT principles and techniques can be adapted for various populations and settings, including children, adolescents, couples, and groups.

“Harnessing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to Mitigate Cognitive Decline: Strategies for Dementia and Alzheimer’s Prevention”

While Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) primarily focuses on treating existing psychological conditions, there is growing evidence to suggest that certain aspects of CBT may contribute to reducing the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, albeit indirectly.

Here are several ways in which CBT principles and techniques could potentially help mitigate the risk factors associated with these conditions:

1. Stress Reduction: Chronic stress has been identified as a significant risk factor for cognitive decline and dementia. Prolonged exposure to stress hormones such as cortisol can damage the hippocampus, a brain region crucial for memory and learning. CBT incorporates stress reduction techniques such as relaxation exercises, deep breathing, and mindfulness meditation, which can help individuals manage stress more effectively and potentially reduce the detrimental effects on brain health.

2. Cognitive Stimulation: Engaging in mentally stimulating activities is believed to promote cognitive resilience and reduce the risk of cognitive decline in later life. CBT encourages individuals to challenge their cognitive abilities through various exercises, such as problem-solving tasks, thought restructuring, and behavioral experiments. By regularly engaging in these activities, individuals may strengthen cognitive functioning and build cognitive reserves, which could potentially delay the onset of dementia symptoms.

3. Sleep Improvement: Poor sleep quality and sleep disturbances have been linked to an increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. CBT-based interventions targeting insomnia have shown promising results in improving sleep quality and duration. By addressing underlying sleep problems and promoting healthy sleep habits, CBT may contribute to better overall brain health and reduce the risk of cognitive impairment.

4. Lifestyle Modification: CBT often emphasizes the importance of adopting healthy lifestyle behaviors, including regular exercise, balanced nutrition, and social engagement. These lifestyle factors have been associated with a lower risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. By promoting behavior change and adherence to healthy habits, CBT may indirectly contribute to brain health and reduce the likelihood of developing cognitive disorders.

5. Management of Mood Disorders: Depression and anxiety are common comorbidities in older adults and have been identified as potential risk factors for dementia. CBT is highly effective in treating mood disorders and can help individuals develop coping strategies to manage negative emotions and distressing thoughts. By addressing underlying mood disturbances, CBT may mitigate the impact of these risk factors on cognitive function.

While the evidence supporting the direct role of CBT in preventing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is still limited, integrating CBT principles and techniques into lifestyle modifications and mental health interventions may offer a holistic approach to promoting brain health and reducing the risk of cognitive decline in later life. Further research is needed to explore the long-term effects of CBT on cognitive outcomes and its potential role in dementia prevention.


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) offers a structured, evidence-based approach to addressing a wide range of psychological issues. By targeting maladaptive patterns of thinking and behavior, CBT empowers individuals to develop practical skills and coping strategies for managing their mental health. Whether used as a standalone treatment or in conjunction with other therapeutic approaches, CBT continues to be a valuable tool in the field of mental health care, offering hope and relief to countless individuals worldwide. Citation: CBT: How cognitive behavioural therapy could reduce dementia risk for older people with depression (msn.com)

#cbt #CognitiveBehavioralTherapy #erp #ExposureResponsePrevention #mentalhealth #dementia #alzheimers #mooddisorders #bipolar #insomnia #depression #anxiety #ocd #eatingdisorders #ptsd #substanceabuse #mentalhealthdisorders

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Understanding Dementia: A Comprehensive Guide

Understanding Dementia: A Comprehensive Guide

Dementia is a collective term used to describe a range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. It is not a specific disease but rather a syndrome with various causes. As our population ages, dementia has become an increasingly prevalent concern worldwide. Understanding this condition is crucial for both those affected and their caregivers.

What is Dementia?

Dementia is not a normal part of aging, although it primarily affects older adults. It is characterized by a decline in cognitive abilities that interferes with daily life. Memory loss is a common symptom, but dementia involves more than just forgetfulness. People with dementia may struggle with communication, reasoning, judgment, and visual perception. Over time, they may also experience personality changes and difficulty with motor functions.

Causes of Dementia

There are many different types of dementia, each with its own distinct characteristics and causes. Some of the most common types include:

  1. Alzheimer’s Disease: This is the most common cause of dementia, accounting for 60-80% of cases. It is characterized by the buildup of abnormal protein deposits in the brain, leading to the death of brain cells and a progressive decline in cognitive function.
  2. Vascular Dementia: This type of dementia occurs when there is damage to the blood vessels in the brain, often as a result of a stroke or other cardiovascular conditions. Symptoms may appear suddenly or progress gradually, depending on the severity of the damage.
  3. Lewy Body Dementia: This type of dementia is caused by the accumulation of abnormal protein deposits called Lewy bodies in the brain. It shares some similarities with both Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease and is characterized by fluctuations in cognitive abilities, visual hallucinations, and movement disorders.
  4. Frontotemporal Dementia: This type of dementia is caused by damage to the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. It typically affects younger individuals and is associated with changes in behavior, personality, and language skills.

Symptoms of Dementia

The symptoms of dementia can vary widely depending on the underlying cause and the areas of the brain affected. However, some common symptoms include:

  • Memory loss, particularly short-term memory
  • Difficulty with language and communication
  • Impaired judgment and reasoning
  • Difficulty with complex tasks
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Personality changes and mood swings
  • Problems with motor function and coordination

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosing dementia typically involves a comprehensive medical evaluation, including a review of the patient’s medical history, physical examination, cognitive assessments, and possibly imaging tests such as MRI or CT scans. Early diagnosis is essential to provide appropriate treatment and support.

While there is currently no cure for most types of dementia, there are treatments available that can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life. These may include medications to alleviate cognitive symptoms, behavioral therapies, and lifestyle interventions such as regular exercise and social engagement.

Caregiving and Support

Caring for someone with dementia can be challenging and emotionally taxing. It requires patience, empathy, and a willingness to adapt to the changing needs of the individual. Family members and caregivers play a crucial role in providing support and assistance with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and meal preparation.

It is essential for caregivers to seek support for themselves as well, whether through local support groups, counseling services, or respite care programs that provide temporary relief from caregiving responsibilities.

Research and Future Directions

Advances in medical research have led to a better understanding of the underlying causes of dementia and potential avenues for treatment and prevention. Ongoing research efforts focus on identifying biomarkers for early diagnosis, developing new medications to target the underlying disease processes, and exploring lifestyle interventions that may reduce the risk of developing dementia.

In conclusion, dementia is a complex and challenging condition that requires a comprehensive approach to diagnosis, treatment, and care. By increasing awareness, promoting early detection, and supporting both individuals with dementia and their caregivers, we can work towards improving outcomes and enhancing the quality of life for those affected by this condition.

#dementia #memoryloss #alzheimers #vasculardememtia #lewybodydementia #frontotemporaldementia #moodswings #confusion

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Frontotemporal Dementia Symptoms

Frontotemporal Dementia Symptoms

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a type of dementia that affects the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. Unlike Alzheimer’s disease, which typically affects memory first, FTD is characterized by changes in personality, behavior, and language. The symptoms of FTD can be subtle at first and may be mistaken for depression or other mental health conditions. However, as the disease progresses, the symptoms become more apparent and can have a significant impact on daily life. FTD is caused by the degeneration of neurons in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. These neurons are responsible for transmitting signals between different areas of the brain, and as they degenerate, this communication is disrupted. This disruption can lead to a variety of symptoms, including changes in behavior, language difficulties, and problems with executive function.

Personality and Behavior Changes: One of the early signs of FTD is a change in personality or behavior. This can include a lack of empathy, inappropriate social behavior, loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed, and compulsive behavior such as hoarding or gambling. Some people with FTD may also have difficulty controlling their emotions and may display outbursts of anger, frustration, or even aggression. This can be particularly distressing for family members and caregivers.

Language and Speech Problems: FTD can also affect a person’s ability to communicate. This can manifest as difficulty finding the right words, speaking in short or disjointed sentences, or repeating words or phrases. Some people with FTD may also struggle to understand language or have trouble following conversations. As the disease progresses, it can become increasingly difficult for a person with FTD to express themselves and communicate with others.

Movement and Coordination Issues: In some cases, FTD can also cause problems with movement and coordination. This can include muscle weakness, difficulty with balance or gait, and stiffness or rigidity in the limbs. Some people with FTD may also develop tremors or other movement disorders, which can further impact their ability to perform daily tasks.

Memory Loss: Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) is a form of dementia that primarily affects the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. These two areas of the brain are responsible for a variety of functions, including language, emotion, behavior, and memory. While memory loss is not always the first symptom of FTD, it can be a significant effect of the disease.

One of the most common types of memory loss associated with FTD is semantic memory loss. Semantic memory is the type of memory that allows us to remember facts, concepts, and general knowledge. People with FTD may have difficulty remembering things like the names of objects, the meanings of words, or the steps involved in completing a task.

Another type of memory loss that can occur in FTD is episodic memory loss. Episodic memory is the type of memory that allows us to remember specific events or experiences. People with FTD may have difficulty remembering recent events or experiences, and they may also have difficulty forming new memories.

In addition to memory loss, FTD can also affect other cognitive functions that are important for memory. For example, people with FTD may have difficulty with attention, concentration, and working memory. These functions are important for encoding and retrieving memories, so their impairment can make it difficult for people with FTD to remember information.

The effects of memory loss in FTD can have a significant impact on a person’s daily life. People with FTD may have difficulty with tasks that require them to remember information, such as following directions, completing tasks, or remembering appointments. They may also have difficulty with social interactions, as they may have difficulty remembering people’s names or details about their relationships.

Overall, memory loss is a significant effect of Frontotemporal Dementia. While it is not always the first symptom of the disease, it can have a significant impact on a person’s daily life. Early diagnosis and treatment can help to slow the progression of the disease and improve the quality of life for people with FTD and their families.

It is a relatively rare form of dementia, accounting for about 5-10% of all dementia cases, and typically occurs in people aged 40-75 years old. FTD is also known as Pick’s disease or frontotemporal lobar degeneration.

FTD is a progressive disease that affects different parts of the brain, leading to changes in behavior, personality, and language abilities. Unlike other forms of dementia, FTD usually affects younger people and progresses more rapidly. Early diagnosis and intervention are crucial for managing FTD symptoms and improving the quality of life for those affected.

Symptoms of FTD can be divided into three categories: behavioral changes, language difficulties, and movement problems.

Behavioral changes:

One of the early signs of FTD is a change in behavior or personality. The individual may become socially inappropriate, impulsive, and lose their inhibitions. They may engage in risky or inappropriate behaviors, such as shoplifting or sexual misconduct. They may also become apathetic, showing little interest in their surroundings or activities they previously enjoyed. In some cases, they may show signs of depression or anxiety.

Language difficulties:

FTD can affect a person’s ability to use and understand language. They may struggle to find the right words, repeat themselves frequently, or have difficulty with grammar and syntax. As the disease progresses, they may lose the ability to communicate entirely. This is known as primary progressive aphasia, and it can be divided into two types: semantic dementia, where the person struggles to remember words and understand their meaning.

Further Reading:

Frontotemporal dementia – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Frontotemporal Dementias – Practical Neurology

Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) | Alzheimer’s Society (alzheimers.org.uk)

#ftd #Frontotemporaldementia #cognitiveimpairment #behaviour #language #behavioralchanges #dementia #frontallobe #temporallobe #memoryloss #lackofinterest #compulsivebehaviour #lackofempathy #mentalhealth