A dementia that rivals Alzheimer’s strikes before age 65

BY ROBERT BAZELL

Just two years ago, Barbara Whitmarsh was a woman who seemed to have it all. She was a highly regarded scientist at the National Institutes of Health. Married for 30 years, she’d raised six children with her beloved husband, John.

But then John Whitmarsh started to notice some disturbing changes in his wife, now 62. It was as if the woman he’d married and lived with all that time was slowly and inexorably fading away.

“Her ability to feel empathy, her personality, it just disappeared over a period of time,” John said. “I would ask her, ‘Is there anything wrong?’ and she would say, ‘No, I love you and everything’s fine,’ but she wasn’t there. And she said it in that flat way.”

A scientist himself, Whitmarsh knew there was, indeed, something wrong. And he was worried. He asked his wife to see a psychiatrist who eventually diagnosed her with frontotemporal dementia or FTD.

Read the full article at NBC News…