Pick disease

Pick disease is a neurodegenerative disease, and one of the tauopathies characterised by the accumulation of Pick bodies.

Pick disease is sometimes used synonymously with frontotemporal lobar degeneration, although this is probably unwise, as not all cases which fit clinically into a frontotemporal dementia have the underlying pathological changes seen in Pick's disease. 

Pick's disease typically manifests between the ages of 40 and 60 years, with a male predilection 1

Clinical presentation depends on the particular pattern of cortical involvement, and is discussed in the frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) article. 

The characteristic features of Pick disease include 1

  • Pick bodies
  • swollen chromatolytic neurons
  • loss of large pyramidal neurons
  • astrocytic gliosis

The primary radiographic abnormality is that of cortical atrophy of the frontal and temporal lobes. These changes can be markedly asymmetric and affect one region much more than another. They are discussed further in the frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) article. 

Caudate head volumes are also often reduced 3.

Imaging differential diagnosis

On imaging, Pick's disease may mimic other causes of frontal and temporal atrophy, especially:

Clinical differential diagnosis

Clinically Pick's disease may overlap with other neurodegenerative diseases with prominent frontal involvement, including 1


Neurodegenerative diseases

Neurodegenerative diseases are legion and their classification just as protean. A useful approach is to divide them according to underlying pathological process, although even using this schema, there is much overlap and thus resulting confusion.

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Article Information

rID: 13144
Section: Pathology
Tag: cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Pick's disease

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