What are the main functions of the frontal and temporal lobes? Frontotemporal dementia shows us. Frontotemporal degeneration typically occurs because of frontotemporal dementia. It is called frontotemporal dementia because the frontal lobes as well as the temporal lobes are involved.
Frontotemporal dementia represents 10-20% of all dementia cases. It is typically affecting the younger population, in contrast to the Alzheimer’s disease (source). Car accidents, where injuries to the frontal lobes occur, may also damage or degenerate the frontal lobes.
Degeneration of the frontal lobes affects a number of crucial abilities such as behavioural, emotional, and linguistic (speech) abilities, which is emphasized in a paper by Brun and colleagues (1993).
The following list highlights some of impairments that people with degeneration of the frontotemporal lobes experience (The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration). At the same time, it illustrates some of the functions of the frontotemporal lobes.
The functions of the frontal and temporal lobes
- Attention difficulties: distractibility and impersistence
- Mental rigidity and inflexibility: insistence on having his or her own way, increasing difficulty adapting to new or changing circumstances
- Planning and problem solving impairments, abstract reasoning decreases: examples of this include difficulty coordinating the cooking of a meal or making a shopping list and performing necessary errands
- Poor financial judgment: impulsive spending or financial risk-taking
- Emotional blunting or abnormal emotional reactions to others: examples include being inappropriately calm when a significant other has been hurt or is threatened, or being unfeeling or self-centered when empathy would be an appropriate response (e.g., a funeral). Some people show emotions that are exaggerated or inappropriate
- Apathy: reduced initiative, lack of motivation and an apparent loss of interest in previously-enjoyable hobbies and social activities
- Lack of insight into one’s behavior: the patient does not recognize changes in his or her own behaviors and shows no concern for the effect these behaviors on others, including loved ones
- Mood changes: abrupt and frequent