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How empathy is affected in people with frontotemporal dementia

Dementia is often associated with memory loss – but did you know it can also be associated with loss of empathy?

For those under the age of 65, the most common form of dementia is what’s known as frontotemporal dementia.

This type of dementia causes damage to the frontal and/or temporal lobes of the brain, which control behaviour and personality.


As a result, people with this frontotemporal dementia may act differently, they may start shopping or inappropriately commenting on someone’s appearance – and it’s all because of a lack of empathy. New research has attempted to explain why empathy loss is associated with this type of dementia. Dr Muireann Irish, Cognitive Neuroscientist at Neuroscience Research Australia, has more.

Producer: Ellen Leabeater

Image: Institut Douglas on Flickr.

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