Frontal Lobe Syndromes Treatment & Management

  • Author: Stephen L Nelson, Jr, MD, PhD, FAAP; Chief Editor: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA  more...
Updated: Apr 11, 2016

Medical Care

Medical care depends entirely on the pathology present. Physical and occupational therapy remain an important cornerstone of motor symptom management in FTD. Speech therapy may also help patients manage symptoms associated with aphasia, apraxia, and dysarthria. Recent advances in the understanding of FTLD pathophysiology and genetics have led to development of potentially disease-modifying therapies, as well as symptomatic therapies aimed at ameliorating social and behavioral deficits.[17]



Consultation with a neuropsychologist and/or behavioral neurologist is indicated to determine the nature and extent of the cognitive deficits present and to help work with the patients and families.

Formal consultation with a neuropsychologist is often advantageous to clarify the extent of the brain damage and to make appropriate cognitive treatment plans. Neuropsychologists are also exceedingly helpful because of their psychological background in dealing with patients and their families.

The patient and family frequently deny or minimize the importance of the deficit. Consultation can help ensure that the home setting is truly appropriate for the patient and/or family.

If a home setting is agreed on, these consultants can determine the need for assistance. Assistants can include physical, occupational, and/or speech therapists; home health aides; visiting nurses; respite care staff; and adult day-care staff, who are trained to help the patient succeed in the desired setting. Consultation with a social worker may also be helpful.



Patients with frontal lesions and deficits frequently need supervision because of their lack of impulse control and their inability to form and follow plans and strategies.

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Stephen L Nelson, Jr, MD, PhD, FAAP Section Head of Pediatric Neurology, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Neurology, and Psychiatry, Tulane University School of Medicine

Stephen L Nelson, Jr, MD, PhD, FAAP is a member of the following medical societies: Academic Pediatric Association, American Academy of Neurology, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association, Association of Military Surgeons of the US, Child Neurology Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Received salary from Medscape for employment. for: Medscape.

Chief Editor

Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA Chief of Neurology, Hines Veterans Affairs Hospital; Professor of Neurology, Loyola University Medical Center

Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Neurology, American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine, American Clinical Neurophysiology Society, American Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Joseph Quinn, MD, MD Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, Portland VA Medical Center, Oregon Health Sciences University

Joseph Quinn, MD, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Neurology, Society for Neuroscience, Society for Pediatric Radiology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Alberto J Espay, MD, MSc Associate Professor, Director of Clinical Research, Gardner Family Center for Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine

Alberto J Espay, MD, MSc is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Neurology and Movement Disorders Society

Disclosure: Abbott Consulting fee Consulting; Chelsea therapeutics Consulting fee Consulting; Novartis Honoraria Speaking and teaching; TEVA Consulting fee Consulting; NIH Grant/research funds K23 Career Development Award; Eli Lilly Consulting fee Consulting; Great Lakes Neurotechnologies Other; Michael J Fox Foundation Grant/research funds Other; Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Royalty Book; American Academy of Neurology Honoraria Speaking and teaching

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Axial brain MRI of a patient with progressive tremorless parkinsonism and frontal-predominant dementia (Mini Mental State Examination = 23/30; Frontal Assessment Battery = 10/18; abnormal clock drawing task and additional constructional impairment) with moderate ideomotor apraxia. The MRI demonstrates predominantly frontal (A) and anterior temporal atrophy (B) suggestive of frontotemporal dementia.
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