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Pick's disease

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Pick's Disease
ICD-10 G31.0
ICD-9 331.11
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Pick's disease is a dementing illness associated with deterioration of the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain.


Symptoms may include a decline in social behavior (including disinhibition, tactlessness, and breaches of interpersonal etiquette), emotional blunting, apathy, changes in eating habits (including increased appetite, weight gain, and increased preference for sweets), attention problems, decreased insight, speech and language problems (including reduced speech ability, repetition of phrases heard, reduced use of nouns, difficulty naming objects, loss of word meaning, diminished writing ability, and mutism), and difficulty recognizing faces. Though Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia can sometimes cause similar symptoms, Pick's disease is more likely to cause certain deficits in behavior and speech (such as disinhibition or loss of nouns), while memory and visuospatial function (which are frequently affected by Alzheimer's Disease) tend to be relatively spared. Also, the onset of Pick's Disease (usually between the ages of 45 and 65) is earlier than is normally seen in Alzheimer's disease.

Pick's disease causes a syndrome called frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) that has three main variants:

The clinical syndrome of FTLD can also result from dementia lacking distinctive histology (DLDH). Because DLDH and Pick's disease cannot be separated clinically, it is currently not possible to make a final diagnosis of Pick's disease until autopsy. At autopsy, Pick's disease is diagnosed by the presence of cortical Pick bodies, which are silver-staining, spherical aggregations of tau protein in neurons.


The Czechoslovakian neurologist and psychiatrist Arnold Pick first described the clinical syndrome and characteristic neuronal inclusions, or Pick bodies, associated with Pick's disease in 1892.


  • Neary D, Snowden JS, Gustafson L, Passant U, Stuss D, Black S, Freedman M, Kertesz A, Robert PH, Albert M, Boone K, Miller BL, Cummings J, Benson DF. (1998) Frontotemporal lobar degeneration: a consensus on clinical diagnostic criteria. Neurology 51(6):1546-54. Available: [1]
  • Pick A. (1892) Über die Beziehungen der senilen Hirnatrophie zur Aphasie. Prager medicinische Wochenschrift Prague 17:165-167.

External links

de:Morbus Pick

fr:Maladie de Pick nl:Ziekte van Pick sv:Picks sjukdom

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