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Quick progression


Registered User
Dec 6, 2007
Hi I haven't posted for a while but have been reading the other posts. Is anyone out there dealing with a husband in their 40's.

David seems to be progressing very fast. A year ago he was still working and travelling with his job overseas. Now he has very few independant thoughts and no conversation, just automated responses to a few things he sees. A child or a picture of a child will create a response about our own daughter - usually that he has a daughter and she bounces a lot.
He still will eat anything that is left out but the apathy is so great that he no longer looks for food, not even opening the fridge to take things out.
Some evening he is so exhausted that he finds it difficult to eat and he has started to lose weight.
David spends the majority of the day and night sleeping - the least activity makes him tired after getting up he gets the newspaper and a bar of chocolate from the local shop comes home for breakfast then he goes back to sleep - most mornings he is snoring by the time I go to work at 8;30.
He is still mobile but some days his leg is strange - one of them doesn't seem to bend.
He is still able to wash & dress - shaving is becoming difficult and he no longer bathes every day - he doesn't like water on his head or face so will not wash his hair. He puts on whatever I leave out for him - so I can keep him clean.
He has also lost his aim in toileting and it is more luck than jugment. Ther also seems to be an issue in wiping as the bedsheets keep getting smear marks.
The memory is still pretty good but the deterioration on the scan was shown to be mainly in the frontal lobes, but he is forgetting friends, asking his best man how many children he has, and not knowing which good friends knew each other.
Is this fast?

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Hello Smiles. :)

My husband is much older than yours, so I`m unable to give you a comparison.

However, I have read many posts about early/young onset sufferers and it does seem many see a rapid progression of the condition. It must be very frightening for you.

I`m sure later in the day, others will be able to tell of their experiences.

Take care xx


Registered User
May 12, 2005
Hello Smiles - My husband who is now 62 and is about to be committed full time to a care home, was first diagnosed at 55, and his symptoms were identical to what you are describing, however the toiletary habits and stiff legs have only been in the last 6 months. It is now impossible for me to dress him as he stiffens and will not lift his feet for me to pull on trousers or socks. He is also petrified of the shower and says I am trying to "kill" him when I put him in the shower. I tried bathing instead but then he has no idea of how to get out and he is too heavy for me to lift him. He has no inclination to eat either, if I did not force feed him he would just go without, never seems to be hungry. I have to work to keep "the nails in the roof" so I take him to a care centre during the day, the same place he is now going to be full time.
I just wish you lots of love and patience and don't try and do too much on your own or else you will end up like me, an emotional physical wreck. Take care and Godbless.


Registered User
Sep 29, 2007
Hi Smiles,
Ftd is known to have a quicker course than alzheimers unfortunately. 18 months ago my mam was living independently. Now, she is much like your husband. Ftd can be particularly aggressive especially in younger people,
regard, berni


Registered User
Dec 6, 2007
Thank you for your responces.

David has now been prescribed Aricept - it is against the advise of his specialist but the care team that David goes to 3 days a week were very keen to try it and were unwilling to provide more care without some form of medication to improve the worsening condition.

I felt that I didn't have much choice as of yet I am not sure of our future financial situation and need to be able to continue working to support myself and daughter(6).

The community health team are also going to try for continuing health care as they are aware that David can no longer be left alone all day for 2 days a week.

It is difficult on this roller coaster I just hope that Aricept puts on the breaks for a while and alows me to come to terms with the situation instead of the constantly changing boundaries that I am dealing with at the moment.

Has Aricept helped anyone with FTD?


Registered User
Sep 27, 2006
Dear Smiles,

I feel for you, I really do. The shock of this happening so quickly is hard to bear. I expect that you are in shock right now.

I have experienced the sudden, frightening deterioration when my husband within a few months went from living a normal life to the stage you are describing.

For some years I had noticed that he had changed in little things, was more forgetful, was 'awkward' (as I thought). His driving slowed down and he sometimes missed turnings. None of these things amounted to anything and almost went unnoticed. As he was in his middle fifties, I had no idea that these were small signs of things to come.

Then suddenly, within the space of 6 months, my husband was totally dependant, had all the symptoms you describe(and more). The shock and total bewilderment I felt was overwhelming. It took me several years (and this site) to help me to come to terms with our situation.

Try to take one day at a time and give yourself space to adjust to your new situation. It is a very hard time for you and I hope that you have someone you can talk through your feelings with. We are also always here on TP to listen.



Registered User
Sep 16, 2005
My Dad has early onset alzheimers and it seemed to attack his frontal lobes more so than anywhere else (potentially misdiagnosed with Alzheimers we think)and he was on Aricept for a large majority of his early years...he never had any problems with it so I am curious as to why the specialist was against it as I thought it was always recommended as an attempt to slow the disease down. Of course we couldn't tell if it did actually slow it down as we don't know how fast it would have progressed if he hadn't taken it.
Nonetheless as others have said early onset can have quite a rapid progression and Dad's progression did have its very rapid times...for three years he seemed to go madly downhill so that it seemed that one day he was just having trouble tying his tie and then before we knew it he couldn't go to the toilet by himself and became virtually mute. I found that time very hard to deal with, feeling like I was almost going insane with the pain of losing him, and losing him again and again, as you'd just come to terms with the lesser abilities and grow to love that person and then he'd disappear again. All I can say about that time is that it absolutely ripped my heart out.
These days however things are much calmer...there's not much else he can lose I guess, and also I think we (the family) have finally gotten use to this horrible disease and come to terms with it to a certain extent. These days Dad just seems to be Dad, who can't talk, can't eat by himself, can't toilet or shower himself, but he can walk and he can laugh and he can yell when he's not happy and we love him. He went into a home for 3yrs as he was too difficult for Mum to manage, but now he's home with her again and at nights she rolls his hospital bed up against her single bed and she tells me how wonderful it is to be able to reach over and touch him again at night and know that he is still there. Each morning she is also delighted that he nearly always wakes up and looks at her and smiles and laughs. This may sound corny and lucky for us...but believe me we went through years of Dad being voilent and angry and I think Mum went through a time where she just hated him and felt very guilty for that. These days though we are just thankful for every extra day we get to keep him here with us, and thankfully he seems to be happy staying these days.
My heart goes out to you Smiles, these are difficult times, you can only do your best, good luck to you.


Registered User
May 19, 2008
I understand exactly what you are saying about the rapid progression of the disease when it is early onset. I think this is probably what my husband had but was mis-diagnosed until the last 3 months when everything changed day by day. I know how hard it is to come to terms with someone so young to be suffering from this awful shocking illness and I still cant believe that one day my husband was doing normal things and so suddenly could not look after himself. I am so sorry that you have to watch this and I know that each time a further deterioration happens you will be as heartbroken as was and still am.
You will find the strength to cope, I dont know how i did but you just have to from somewhere as this is when they need you.

good luck