Lifestyle changes may combat a dementia that strikes people in their 40s and 50s

(CNN)Frontotemporal dementia strikes early, typically in the 50s, sometimes as young as age 45. Unlike Alzheimer’s, it doesn’t affect memory, instead attacking the parts of the brain which control thinking, reasoning and emotions. Science has struggled to provide interventions to help these patients. Now, a new study published Wednesday suggests that lifestyle changes may help slow the disease progression. Casaletto and her colleagues followed the activity levels of 105 people with the inherited form of the disease, the first study to do so in this population. They found people who ranked highest in levels of mental and physical activity slowed their functional decline from the disease by half. “This is an extremely important study providing the strongest evidence yet that …