Dementia Awareness: Son's Video Diary Documents his Father's Life With Frontotemporal Dementia
In 2015, it was estimated that 46.8 million people across the Globe were suffering with dementia. This is predicted to rise to 131.5 million people by 2050.
There are several different types of dementia, such as: Alzheimer’s Disease, Vascular Dementia, Dementia with Lewy Bodies, Frontotemporal Dementia, Posterior Cortical Atrophy and Primary Aggressive Aphasia.
Ken Keene Jr is making a video diary of his father Kenneth Keene Sr as he lives with Frontotemporal dementia, a rare form of dementia, thought to account for less than 5% of dementia cases.
Read about: Ken Jr's reasons for making the video diary
This type of dementia is a tauopathy, so called because mutant forms of the protein ‘tau’ aggregate inside brain cells and cause their destruction. Recently, the structure of the tau protein has been solved, and this will hopefully lead to the better design of much needed diagnostic tools and treatment.
Read more: the structure of tau solved
In this type of dementia, cells in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain are particularly susceptible to destruction. These areas are located directly behind your forehead and those to the sides of your head. They process speech and language and also give rise to your personality and behavioral characteristics. Sufferers of the condition tend to undergo drastic changes in their personality and behavior. They also have trouble recognizing people they are familiar with, and frequently experience language difficulties. As Ken Jr documents in his videos, his previously reserved father now sings uncontrollably, but also struggles to interpret conversations with new people.
Despite the prevalence of dementia and the increasing burden it places on health services and care institutions, research in to the different conditions is comparatively under-resourced. For example, in the UK, dementia researchers are outnumbered 1:4 by cancer researchers.
You can watch Ken Jr's video diary, “The Journey with ToughKenaMan” here.