The episode of 60 Minutes that Emily and I recorded earlier this year was just announced for Sunday, May 5 at 7:00 p.m. Click here to view the episode preview featuring another family affected by this disease.
Press Release from The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration, May 3, 2019 — 60 Minutes will introduce millions of television viewers to frontotemporal degeneration (FTD), the most common dementia for people under 60, in a segment scheduled to air on Sunday, May 5.
Reporter Bill Whitaker spoke with persons living with FTD, their care partners, and FTD experts for his report, entitled "The Cruelest Disease You've Never Heard Of: Frontotemporal Dementia."
The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (AFTD), the country's leading organization focused exclusively on FTD, provided 60 Minutes producers with background information on the disease as they prepared their story.
FTD differs from more Alzheimer's in that it does not primarily affect memory. Rather, it causes irreversible progressive change to an individual's personality, behavior, movement or language.
FTD "robs us of the very essence of our humanity, of who we are," Dr. Bruce Miller of the University of California San Francisco tells Whitaker in the piece. Dr. Miller is a member of the AFTD Medical Advisory Council.
FTD tends to occur earlier in life, when people are typically more concerned with raising a family and advancing their careers than coping with dementia. To highlight this reality of FTD, the piece will profile Amy Johnson, a mother of four young children whose husband Mark was diagnosed with behavioral variant FTD in early 2018.
There are no approved treatments for FTD, nor is there a cure.
AFTD helped to connect 60 Minutes with Amy, Dr. Miller, and The Very Rev. Tracey Lind, who is living with the primary progressive aphasia form of FTD.
"We are grateful to all who shared their story with 60 Minutes, just as we are grateful for everyone in our community who share their stories every day to bring awareness of this disease," said AFTD CEO Susan L-J Dickinson. "The more widely known FTD becomes, the sooner we can realize a world with compassionate care, effective support, and a future free of FTD."
AFTD works to raise awareness of FTD, provides help for families affected, and promotes research targeting viable treatments and a cure.
60 Minutes airs on CBS.
SOURCE The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration