Attending and presenting at the 10th International Conference of Frontotemporal Dementias
Dr Ratko Radakovic
At the end of August 2016, I had the pleasure to attend the bi-yearly prominent conference relating to Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD), this year held in Munich, Germany. It is an opportunity for both junior and senior researchers, as well as practitioners, to meet and exchange findings in this area to foster important advancements in the field that may help people and families living with FTD.
FTD is a form of dementia that is commonly characterised by change is behaviour, language and planning or organising. This conference gave a great overview of the complexity of type this dementia and particularly focused on the burden for both the people living with the disease and their families. The topics ranged from social cognition (the knowledge of social rules, production of adequate social behaviour, perception of emotions or thoughts) to the neuroanatomy, spread and tremendous economic burden of the disease, giving the conference quite a wide and engaging scope. The poster session was particularly enthralling for myself as a researcher, as I was able to interact with others, learn about FTD (and other dementias) from different perspectives, which added considerably to my own knowledge. Furthermore, I was also able to present our own research entitled ‘Multidimensional apathy and Insight in Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration and Alzheimer’s disease’, which showed that there were differences in the types of demotivation/apathy within dementia subtypes (i.e. FTD and Alzheimer’s disease), using a measurement method of our own design, called the Dimensional Apathy Scale. The poster was well received, attracting respectable attention with a result of some excellent questions and discussion topics with regards to behaviour in dementia.
Overall, this was a rewarding conference which truly encouraged unity and collaborative efforts amongst researchers as to further understanding this and other dementias.