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Disabilities column by Daniel Vance

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I’m not afraid of  dementia
Two years ago, I featured Sven Dorsey, who had read this column in the Lebanon (IN) Reporter. He said then to call back “in a couple years” so readers could track his progress with vascular dementia. After calling recently, what I learned about him surprised me.
For one, he had been misdiagnosed. Now Indiana University Medical Center specialists believe he has frontotemporal dementia (FTD). A Mayo Clinic website describes FTD as a disorder in which a portion of the brain shrinks. Symptoms vary, but may include the person experiencing dramatic personality changes, becoming socially inappropriate, impulsive or emotionally indifferent, and/or losing the ability to use and understand language.
Said 66-year-old Dorsey in a telephone interview, “I don't doubt this diagnosis because I can see the behavioral changes. I used to be very patient and now I have no fuse left. I can be perfectly normal one minute and blow my top the next. My memory is increasingly worse, too. I often can't finish a sentence and I lose track of words.”


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