Right temporal frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is an anatomic variant of FTD associated with relatively distinct behavioral and cognitive symptoms. We aimed to determine whether right temporal FTD is a homogeneous clinical, imaging, and pathologic/genetic entity.
In this case-control study, 101 subjects with FTD were identified. Atlas-based parcellation generated temporal, frontal, and parietal grey matter volumes which were used to identify subjects with a right temporal dominant atrophy pattern. Clinical, neuropsychological, genetic, and neuropathologic features were reviewed. The subjects with right temporal FTD were grouped by initial clinical diagnosis and voxel-based morphometry was used to assess grey matter loss in the different groups, compared to controls, and each other.
We identified 20 subjects with right temporal FTD. Twelve had been initially diagnosed with behavioral variant FTD (bvFTD), and the other 8 with semantic dementia (SMD). Personality change and inappropriate behaviors were more frequent in the bvFTD group, while prosopagnosia, word-finding difficulties, comprehension problems, and topographagnosia were more frequent in the SMD group. The bvFTD group showed greater loss in frontal lobes than the SMD group. The SMD group showed greater fusiform loss than the bvFTD group. All 8 bvFTD subjects with pathologic/genetic diagnosis showed abnormalities in tau protein (7 with tau mutations), while all three SMD subjects with pathology showed abnormalities in TDP-43 (p = 0.006).
We have identified 2 subtypes of right temporal variant frontotemporal dementia (FTD) allowing further differentiation of FTD subjects with underlying tau pathology from those with TDP-43 pathology.
= Alzheimer Disease Patient Registry;
= Alzheimer Disease Research Center;
= behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia;
= Clinical Dementia Rating Scale sum of boxes;
= False Discovery Rate;
= frontotemporal dementia;
= Mini-Mental State Examination;
= Neuropsychiatric Inventory;
= semantic dementia;
= tissue probability map;
= voxel-based morphometry.
Behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia is characterized by a change in comportment. It is associated with considerable functional decline over the course of the illness albeit with sometimes dramatic variability among patients. It is unknown whether any baseline features, or combination of features, could predict rate of functional decline in behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of different baseline clinical, neuropsychological, neuropsychiatric, genetic and anatomic predictors on the rate of functional decline as measured by the Clinical Dementia Rating Sum of Boxes scale. We identified 86 subjects with behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia that had multiple serial Clinical Dementia Rating Sum of Boxes assessments (mean 4, range 2–18). Atlas-based parcellation was used to generate volumes for specific regions of interest at baseline. Volumes were utilized to classify subjects into different anatomical subtypes using the advanced statistical technique of cluster analysis and were assessed as predictor variables. Composite scores were generated for the neuropsychological domains of executive, language, memory and visuospatial function. Behaviours from the brief questionnaire form of the Neuropsychiatric Inventory were assessed. Linear mixed-effects regression modelling was used to determine which baseline features predict rate of future functional decline. Rates of functional decline differed across the anatomical subtypes of behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia, with faster rates observed in the frontal dominant and frontotemporal subtypes. In addition, subjects with poorer performance on neuropsychological tests of executive, language and visuospatial function, less disinhibition, agitation/aggression and night-time behaviours at presentation, and smaller medial, lateral and orbital frontal lobe volumes showed faster rates of decline. In many instances, the effect of the predictor variables observed across all subjects was also preserved within anatomical subtypes. Furthermore, some of the predictor variables improved our prediction of rate of functional decline after anatomical subtype was taken into account. In particular, age at onset was a highly significant predictor but only after adjusting for subtype. We also found that although some predictor variables, for example gender, Mini-Mental State Examination score, and apathy/indifference, did not affect the rate of functional decline; these variables were associated with the actual Clinical Dementia Rating Sum of Boxes score estimated for any given time-point. These findings suggest that in behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia, rate of functional decline is driven by the combination of anatomical pattern of atrophy, age at onset, and neuropsychiatric characteristics of the subject at baseline.
frontotemporal dementia; behaviour; functional decline; brain volumes; mixed effects models
Pathology underlying behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) is heterogeneous, with the most common pathologies being Pick’s disease (PiD), corticobasal degeneration (CBD), and FTLD-TDP type 1. Clinical features are unhelpful in differentiating these pathologies. We aimed to determine whether imaging atrophy patterns differ across these pathologies in bvFTD subjects. We identified 15 bvFTD subjects that had volumetric MRI during life and autopsy: five with PiD, five CBD and five FTLD-TDP type 1. Voxel-based morphometry was used to assess atrophy patterns in each bvFTD group compared to 20 age and gender-matched controls. All three pathological groups showed grey matter loss in frontal lobes, although specific patterns of atrophy differed across groups: PiD showed widespread loss in frontal lobes with additional involvement of anterior temporal lobes; CBD showed subtle patterns of loss involving posterior lateral and medial superior frontal lobe; FTLD-TDP type 1 showed widespread loss in frontal, temporal and parietal lobes. Greater parietal loss was observed in FTLD-TDP type 1 compared to both other groups, and greater anterior temporal and medial frontal loss was observed in PiD compared to CBD. Imaging patterns of atrophy in bvFTD vary according to pathological diagnosis and may therefore be helpful in predicting these pathologies in bvFTD.
Frontotemporal dementia; behavioral variant; Pick’s disease; corticobasal degeneration; TDP-43; atrophy; voxel-based morphometry; MRI
Frontotemporal dementia-amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (FTD-ALS) is a heritable form of FTD, but the gene(s) responsible for the majority of autosomal dominant FTD-ALS cases have yet to be found. Previous studies have identified a region on chromosome 9p that is associated with FTD and ALS.
The authors report the clinical, volumetric MRI, neuropathological and genetic features of a new chromosome 9p-linked FTD-ALS family, VSM-20.
Ten members of family VSM-20 displayed heterogeneous clinical phenotypes of isolated behavioural-variant FTD (bvFTD), ALS or a combination of the two. Parkinsonism was common, with one individual presenting with a corticobasal syndrome. Analysis of structural MRI scans from five affected family members revealed grey- and white-matter loss that was most prominent in the frontal lobes, with mild parietal and occipital lobe atrophy, but less temporal lobe atrophy than in 10 severity-matched sporadic bvFTD cases. Autopsy in three family members showed a consistent and unique subtype of FTLD-TDP pathology. Genome-wide linkage analysis conclusively linked family VSM-20 to a 28.3 cM region between D9S1808 and D9S251 on chromosome 9p, reducing the published minimal linked region to a 3.7 Mb interval. Genomic sequencing and expression analysis failed to identify mutations in the 10 known and predicted genes within this candidate region, suggesting that next-generation sequencing may be needed to determine the mutational mechanism associated with chromosome 9p-linked FTD-ALS.
Family VSM-20 significantly reduces the region linked to FTD-ALS on chromosome 9p. A distinct pattern of brain atrophy and neuropathological findings may help to identify other families with FTD-ALS caused by this genetic abnormality.
OBJECTIVES--To evaluate the pattern of regional brain atrophy in patients with frontotemporal dementia by comparing it with that in patients with Alzheimer's disease and normal controls. METHODS--Fourteen patients with frontotemporal dementia, 13 with moderate, and 33 with mild Alzheimer's disease, and 31 controls were studied. Atrophy was evaluated with linear measures in the anterior brain, medial temporal lobe, and hippocampal formation regions using MRI. RESULTS--Patients with frontotemporal dementia had greater atrophy in the anterior brain regions than patients with Alzheimer's disease or controls. Atrophy of the hippocampal formation, which best discriminates Alzheimer's disease from controls, was present also in patients with frontotemporal dementia. By contrast, atrophy of the medial temporal lobe, which is also present in Alzheimer's disease, was absent in frontotemporal dementia. CONCLUSION--A pattern of atrophy in the frontal lobes and hippocampal formation with sparing of the medial temporal lobe might be distinctive of frontotemporal dementia. Hippocampal involvement might not be specific for Alzheimer's disease and specific patterns of atrophy might be distinctive of some forms of degenerative dementia.
Behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia is a neurodegenerative disorder with dysfunction and atrophy of the frontal lobes leading to changes in personality, behaviour, empathy, social conduct and insight, with relative preservation of language and memory. As novel treatments begin to emerge, biomarkers of frontotemporal dementia will become increasingly important, including functionally relevant neuroimaging indices of the neurophysiological basis of cognition. We used magnetoencephalography to examine behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia using a semantic decision task that elicits both frontal and temporal activity in healthy people. Twelve patients with behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia (age 50–75) and 16 matched controls made categorical semantic judgements about 400 pictures during continuous magnetoencephalography. Distributed source analysis was used to compare patients and controls. The patients had normal early responses to picture confrontation, indicating intact visual processing. However, a predominantly posterior set of regions including temporoparietal cortex showed reduced source activity 250–310 ms after stimulus onset, in proportion to behavioural measures of semantic association. In contrast, a left frontoparietal network showed reduced source activity at 550–650 ms, proportional to patients’ deficits in attention and orientation. This late deficit probably reflects impairment in the neural substrate of goal-oriented decision making. The results demonstrate behaviourally relevant neural correlates of semantic processing and decision making in behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia, and show for the first time that magnetoencephalography can be used to study cognitive systems in the context of frontotemporal dementia.
frontotemporal; dementia; semantic decision; picture categorization; magnetoencephalography
To determine the anatomic correlate of prosopagnosia in subjects with semantic dementia.
We identified all subjects who had been evaluated by an experienced behavioral neurologist, met criteria for semantic dementia, and had completed a volumetric head MRI scan. In all subjects, historical records were reviewed and subjects in which the presence (n = 15) or absence (n = 12) of prosopagnosia was specifically ascertained by the neurologist were identified. Voxel-based morphometry was used to assess patterns of gray matter atrophy in subjects with and without prosopagnosia compared to a group of age and gender-matched normal controls, and compared to each other.
Compared to controls, both groups showed prominent temporal lobe volume loss. Those with prosopagnosia showed bilateral loss but with greater involvement of the right temporal lobe, while those without prosopagnosia showed predominantly left anterior temporal lobe loss. On direct comparison, subjects with prosopagnosia showed greater loss predominantly in the right amygdala, hippocampus, fusiform gyrus, and anterior temporal pole than those without prosopagnosia. No regions were involved to a greater degree in those without prosopagnosia, compared to those with prosopagnosia.
Prosopagnosia appears to be associated with volume loss of the right temporal lobe, particularly medial temporal lobe, fusiform gyrus, and anterior temporal pole, although in semantic dementia it is occurring in the context of bilateral temporal lobe volume loss.
= Alzheimer’s Disease Patient Registry;
= Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center;
= Boston Naming Test;
= Clinical Dementia Rating score sum of boxes;
= discrete cosine transformation;
= Dementia Rating Scale;
= frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin-only-immunoreactive changes;
= full-width at half-maximum;
= gray matter;
= Mini-Mental State Examination;
= Montreal Neurological Institute;
= spoiled gradient echo;
= Short Test of Mental Status;
= voxel-based morphometry;
= white matter.
MRI diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies of white matter integrity in behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia have consistently shown involvement of frontal and temporal white matter, corresponding to regional loss of cortical volume. Volumetric imaging has a suboptimal sensitivity as a diagnostic tool and thus we wanted to explore if DTI is a better method to discriminate patients and controls than volumetric imaging. We examined the anterior cingulum bundle in 14 patients with behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia and 22 healthy controls using deterministic manual diffusion tensor tractography, and compared DTI parameters with two measures of cortical atrophy, VBM and cortical thickness, of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Statistically significant changes between patients and controls were detected in all DTI parameters, with large effect sizes. ROC-AUC was for the best DTI parameters: 0.92 (fractional anisotropy) to 0.97 (radial diffusivity), 0.82 for the best cortical parameter, VBM of the ACC. Results from the AUC were confirmed with binary logistic regression analysis including demographic variables, but only for fractional anisotropy and mean diffusivity. Ability to classify patient/nonpatient status was significantly better for mean diffusivity vs. VBM (p=0.031), and borderline significant for fractional anisotropy vs. VBM (p=0.062). The results indicate that DTI could offer advantages in comparison with the assessment of cortical volume in differentiating patients with behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia and controls.
Deficits of flavour processing may be clinically important in frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD).
To examine flavour processing in FTLD.
We studied flavour identification prospectively in 25 patients with FTLD (12 with behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), eight with semantic variant primary progressive aphasia (svPPA), five with non-fluent variant primary progressive aphasia (nfvPPA)) and 17 healthy control subjects, using a new test based on cross-modal matching of flavours to words and pictures. All subjects completed a general neuropsychological assessment, and odour identification was also assessed using a modified University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test. Brain MRI volumes from the patient cohort were analysed using voxel-based morphometry to identify regional grey matter associations of flavour identification.
Relative to the healthy control group, the bvFTD and svPPA subgroups showed significant (p<0.05) deficits of flavour identification and all three FTLD subgroups showed deficits of odour identification. Flavour identification performance did not differ significantly between the FTLD syndromic subgroups. Flavour identification performance in the combined FTLD cohort was significantly (p<0.05 after multiple comparisons correction) associated with grey matter volume in the left entorhinal cortex, hippocampus, parahippocampal gyrus and temporal pole.
Certain FTLD syndromes are associated with impaired flavour identification and this is underpinned by grey matter atrophy in an anteromedial temporal lobe network. These findings may have implications for our understanding of abnormal eating behaviour in these diseases.
Cognition; Dementia; Neuropsychology; MRI; Neuroanatomy
Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) is a clinically and pathologically heterogeneous syndrome, characterized by progressive decline in behaviour or language associated with degeneration of the frontal and anterior temporal lobes. While the seminal cases were described at the turn of the 20th century, FTLD has only recently been appreciated as a leading cause of dementia, particularly in patients presenting before the age of 65 years. Three distinct clinical variants of FTLD have been described: (i) behavioural-variant frontotemporal dementia, characterized by changes in behaviour and personality in association with frontal-predominant cortical degeneration; (ii) semantic dementia, a syndrome of progressive loss of knowledge about words and objects associated with anterior temporal neuronal loss; and (iii) progressive nonfluent aphasia, characterized by effortful language output, loss of grammar and motor speech deficits in the setting of left perisylvian cortical atrophy.
The majority of pathologies associated with FTLD clinical syndromes include either tau-positive (FTLD-TAU) or TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43)-positive (FTLD-TDP) inclusion bodies. FTLD overlaps clinically and pathologically with the atypical parkinsonian disorders corticobasal degeneration and progressive supranuclear palsy, and with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The majority of familial FTLD cases are caused by mutations in the genes encoding microtubule-associated protein tau (leading to FTLD-TAU) or progranulin (leading to FTLD-TDP). The clinical and pathologic heterogeneity of FTLD poses a significant diagnostic challenge, and in vivo prediction of underlying histopathology can be significantly improved by supplementing the clinical evaluation with genetic tests and emerging biological markers. Current pharmacotherapy for FTLD focuses on manipulating serotonergic or dopaminergic neurotransmitter systems to ameliorate behavioural or motor symptoms. However, recent advances in FTLD genetics and molecular pathology make the prospect of biologically driven, disease-specific therapies for FTLD seem closer than ever.
Brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies have demonstrated regional patterns of brain macrostructural atrophy and white matter microstructural alterations separately in the three major subtypes of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), which includes behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), semantic dementia (SD), and progressive nonfluent aphasia (PNFA). This study was to investigate to what extent the pattern of white matter microstructural alterations in FTLD subtypes mirrors the pattern of brain atrophy, and to compare the ability of various diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) indices in characterizing FTLD patients, as well as to determine whether DTI measures provide greater classification power for FTLD than measuring brain atrophy. Twenty-five patients with FTLD (13 with bvFTD, 6 with SD, and 6 with PNFA) and 19 healthy age-matched control subjects underwent both structural MRI and DTI scans. Measurements of regional brain atrophy were based on T1-weighted MRI data and voxel-based morphometry. Measurements of regional white matter degradation were based on voxelwise as well as regions-of-interest tests of DTI variations, expressed as fractional anisotropy, axial diffusivity, and radial diffusivity. Compared to controls, bvFTD, SD, and PNFA patients each exhibited characteristic regional patterns of brain atrophy and white matter damage. DTI overall provided significantly greater accuracy for FTLD classification than brain atrophy. Moreover, radial diffusivity was more sensitive in assessing white matter damage in FTLD than other DTI indices. The findings suggest that DTI in general and radial diffusivity in particular are more powerful measures for the classification of FTLD patients from controls than brain atrophy.
Behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia; diffusion tensor imaging; frontotemporal lobar degeneration; multimodality MRI; progressive nonfluent aphasia; semantic dementia
The disruption of large-scale brain networks is increasingly recognised as a consequence of neurodegenerative dementias. We assessed adults with behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia and progressive supranuclear palsy using magnetoencephalography during an auditory oddball paradigm. Network connectivity among bilateral temporal, frontal and parietal sources was examined using dynamic causal modelling. We found evidence for a systematic change in effective connectivity in both diseases. Compared with healthy subjects, who had focal modulation of intrahemispheric frontal–temporal connections, the patient groups showed abnormally extensive and inefficient networks. The changes in connectivity were accompanied by impaired responses of the auditory cortex to unexpected deviant tones (MMNm), despite normal responses to standard stimuli. Together, these results suggest that neurodegeneration in two distinct clinical syndromes with overlapping profiles of prefrontal atrophy, causes a similar pattern of reorganisation of large-scale networks. We discuss this network reorganisation in the context of other focal brain disorders and the specific vulnerability of functional brain networks to neurodegenerative disease.
Connectivity; Dementia; Dynamic causal modelling; Magnetoencephalography; MMNm
This study compared rates of regional atrophy in Alzheimer's disease (AD), frontotemporal dementia (FTD), and semantic dementia (SD). Cross-sectional studies have shown that different dementia syndromes are associated with different patterns of regional brain tissue loss. Rates of atrophy over time may be useful for differential diagnosis, and could be used to monitor disease progression, serving as an outcome measure for clinical trials. We studied patients with AD (n=12), FTD (n=13), SD (n=20), and normal controls (n=23) longitudinally with structural MRI, using BRAINS2 software to measure frontal, temporal and parietal lobe volumes. In FTD the rate of frontal lobe atrophy over one year was greater than in any other group, while SD showed the highest rate in the temporal lobes. Atrophy in these regions progressed twice as quickly in FTD and SD compared with AD. Atrophy was not significantly faster for AD in any brain region compared with the other groups. Regional atrophy over time was significantly faster in FTD and SD compared with AD, and the regions of greatest atrophy were specific for each syndrome. Measuring specific regions of cerebral volume changes by serial neuroimaging may serve as a useful biomarker outcome measure for clinical trials in neurodegenerative diseases.
longitudinal; MRI; alzheimer's disease; frontotemporal dementia
Patterns of atrophy in frontotemporal dementia (FTD) correlate with the clinical subtypes of behavioral variant FTD (bvFTD), semantic dementia, progressive non-fluent aphasia (PNFA) and FTD with motor neuron disease (FTD-MND). Right temporal variant FTD is associated with behavioral dyscontrol and semantic impairment, with tau abnormalities more common in right temporal bvFTD and TDP-43 accumulation in right temporal semantic dementia. However, no clinical and anatomical correlation has been described for patients with predominant right temporal atrophy and FTD-MND. Therefore, we performed a database screen for all patients diagnosed with FTD-MND at Mayo Clinic and reviewed their MRI scans to identify those with striking, dominant, right temporal lobe atrophy. For cases with volumetric MRI we performed voxel based morphometry and for those with brain tissue we performed pathological examination. Of three such patients identified, each patient had different presenting behavioral and/or aphasic characteristics. MRI, including DTI sequence in one patient, and FDG PET scan, revealed striking and dominant right temporal lobe atrophy, right corticospinal tract degeneration, and right temporal hypometabolism. Archived brain tissue was available in 2 patients; both demonstrating TDP-43 type 3 pathology (Mackenzie scheme) with predominant neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions. In one case, neurofibrillary tangles (Braak V) and neuritic plaques were also present in keeping with a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. There appears to be an association between FTD-MND and severe right temporal lobe atrophy. Until further characterization of such cases are determined, they may be best classified as right temporal variant FTD-MND.
Frontotemporal dementia; Motor neuron disease; TDP-43; Voxel based morphometry (VBM); positron emission tomography (PET
Behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) strikes hardest at the frontal lobes, but the sites of earliest injury remain unclear.
To determine atrophy patterns in distinct clinical stages of bvFTD, testing the hypothesis that the mildest stage is restricted to frontal paralimbic cortex.
A bvFTD cohort study.
University hospital dementia clinic.
Patients with bvFTD with Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) scale scores of 0.5 (n=15), 1 (n=15), or 2 to 3 (n=15) age and sex matched to each other and to 45 healthy controls.
Main Outcome Measures:
Magnetic resonance voxel-based morphometry estimated gray matter and white matter atrophy at each disease stage compared with controls.
Patients with a CDR score of 0.5 had gray matter loss in frontal paralimbic cortices, but atrophy also involved a network of anterior cortical and subcortical regions. A CDR score of 1 showed more extensive frontal gray matter atrophy and white matter losses in corpus callosum and brainstem. A CDR score of 2 to 3 showed additional posterior insula, hippocampus, and parietal involvement, with white matter atrophy in presumed frontal projection fibers.
Very mild bvFTD targets a specific subset of frontal and insular regions. More advanced disease affects white matter and posterior gray matter structures densely interconnected with the sites of earliest injury.
Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive behavioural abnormalities and frontotemporal atrophy. Here we used tensor based morphometry (TBM) to identify regions of longitudinal progression of gray matter atrophy in FTD compared to controls. T1-weighted MRI images were acquired at presentation and 1-year follow-up from 12 patients with mild to moderate FTD and 12 healthy controls. Using TBM as implemented in SPM2, a voxel-wise estimation of regional tissue volume change was derived from the deformation field required to warp a subject’s late to early anatomical images. A whole brain analysis was performed, in which a level of significance of p<0.05 corrected for multiple comparisons (family wise error-FWE) was accepted. Based on prior studies, a region of interest (ROI) analysis was also performed, including in the search area bilateral medial and orbital frontal regions, anterior cingulate gyrus, insula, amygdala and hippocampus. Within this ROI a level of significance of p<0.001 uncorrected was accepted. In the whole brain analysis, the anterior cingulate/paracingulate gyri were the only regions that showed significant atrophy change over 1 year. In the ROI analysis, the left ventro-medial frontal cortex, right medial superior frontal gyrus, anterior insulae and left amygdala/hippocampus showed significant longitudinal changes. In conclusion, limbic and paralimbic regions showed detectable gray matter contraction over 1 year in FTD, confirming the susceptibility of these regions to the disease and the consistency with their putative role in causing typical presenting behaviours. These results suggest that TBM might be useful in tracking progression of regional atrophy in FTD.
Regions affected late in neurodegenerative disease are thought to be anatomically connected to regions affected earlier. The subcallosal medial prefrontal cortex (SMPC) has connections with the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), and hippocampus (HC), which are regions that may become atrophic in frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) and Alzheimer's disease (AD). We hypothesized that the SMPC is a common site of frontal atrophy in the FTLD subtypes and in AD. The volume of the SMPC, DLPFC, OFC, HC, and entorhinal cortex (EC) were manually delineated for 12 subjects with frontotemporal dementia (FTD), 13 with semantic dementia (SD), 9 with progressive nonfluent aphasia (PNFA), 10 AD cases, and 13 controls. Results revealed significant volume loss in the left SMPC in FTD, SD, and PNFA, while the right SMPC was also atrophied in SD and FTD. In AD a non significant tendency of volume loss in the left SMPC was found (p = 0.08), with no volume loss on the right side. Results indicated that volume loss reflected the degree of brain connectivity. In SD and AD temporal regions displayed most atrophy. Among the frontal regions, the SMPC (which receives the strongest temporal projections) demonstrated most volume loss, the OFC (which receives less temporal projections) less volume loss, while the DLPFC (which is at multisynaptic distance from the temporal regions) demonstrated no volume loss. In PNFA, the left SMPC was atrophic, possibly reflecting progression from the left anterior insula, while FTD patients may have had SMPC atrophy at the initial stages of the disease. Atrophy of the SMPC may thus be affected by either initial temporal or initial frontal atrophy, making it a common site of frontal atrophy in the dementia subtypes investigated.
Alzheimer's disease; frontotemporal dementia; subcallosal medial prefrontal cortex; MRI
Despite growing clinical and neurobiological interest in the brain mechanisms that process emotion in music, these mechanisms remain incompletely understood. Patients with frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) frequently exhibit clinical syndromes that illustrate the effects of breakdown in emotional and social functioning. Here we investigated the neuroanatomical substrate for recognition of musical emotion in a cohort of 26 patients with FTLD (16 with behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia, bvFTD, 10 with semantic dementia, SemD) using voxel-based morphometry. On neuropsychological evaluation, patients with FTLD showed deficient recognition of canonical emotions (happiness, sadness, anger and fear) from music as well as faces and voices compared with healthy control subjects. Impaired recognition of emotions from music was specifically associated with grey matter loss in a distributed cerebral network including insula, orbitofrontal cortex, anterior cingulate and medial prefrontal cortex, anterior temporal and more posterior temporal and parietal cortices, amygdala and the subcortical mesolimbic system. This network constitutes an essential brain substrate for recognition of musical emotion that overlaps with brain regions previously implicated in coding emotional value, behavioural context, conceptual knowledge and theory of mind. Musical emotion recognition may probe the interface of these processes, delineating a profile of brain damage that is essential for the abstraction of complex social emotions.
► Emotion recognition from music is impaired in frontotemporal lobar degeneration. ► This deficit is associated with atrophy in a distributed cerebral network. ► This network includes cortical and mesolimbic areas likely to code social emotions.
Music; Emotion; Dementia; Frontotemporal; FTLD; VBM
Structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been used to investigate the in vivo pathology of frontotemporal lobar degeneration. However, few neuroimaging studies have focused on white matter (WM) alterations in this disease.
To use volumetric MRI techniques to identify the patterns of WM atrophy in vivo in 2 clinical variants of frontotemporal lobar degeneration—fronto-temporal dementia (FTD) and semantic dementia—and to compare the patterns of WM atrophy with those of gray matter (GM) atrophy in these diseases.
Structural MRIs were obtained from patients with FTD (n=12) and semantic dementia (n=13) and in cognitively healthy age-matched controls (n=24). Regional GM and WM were classified automatically from high-resolution T1-, T2-, and proton density-weighted MRIs with Expectation-Maximization Segmentation and compared between the groups using a multivariate analysis of covariance model that included age and WM lesion volumes as covariates.
Patients with FTD had frontal WM atrophy and frontal, parietal, and temporal GM atrophy compared with controls, who had none. Patients with semantic dementia had temporal WM and GM atrophy and patients with FTD had frontal GM atrophy. Adding temporal WM volume to temporal GM volume significantly improved the discrimination between semantic dementia and FTD.
These results show that patients with frontotemporal lobar degeneration who are in relatively early stages of the disease (Clinical Dementia Rating score, 1.0-1.2) have WM atrophy that largely parallels the pattern of GM atrophy typically associated with these disorders.
Predictable patterns of atrophy are associated with the clinical subtypes of frontotemporal dementia (FTD): behavioral variant (bvFTD), semantic dementia (SEMD), and progressive nonfluent aphasia (PNFA). Some studies of pathologic subtypes have also suggested specific atrophy patterns; however, results are inconsistent. Our aim was to test the hypothesis that clinical, but not pathologic, classification (FTD with ubiquitin inclusions [FTD-U] and FTD with tau inclusions [FTD-T]) is associated with predictable patterns of regional atrophy.
Magnetic resonance scans of nine FTD-U and six FTD-T patients (histologically confirmed) were compared with 25 controls using voxel-based morphometry (VBM). Analyses were conducted with the patient group classified according to histologic or clinical variant. Additionally, three Alzheimer pathology patients who had the syndrome of SEMD in life (FTD-A) were analyzed.
The VBM studies in clinical variants confirmed established patterns of atrophy (SEMD, rostral temporal; bvFTD, mesial frontal; PNFA, left insula). FTD-U and FTD-T VBM results were very similar, showing severe atrophy in the temporal poles, mesial frontal lobe, and insulae. A conjunction analysis confirmed this similarity. Subgroup analysis found that SEMD associated with either FTD-T or FTD-U was associated with similar rostral temporal atrophy; however, FTD-A had a qualitatively different pattern of left hippocampal atrophy.
While there is predictable atrophy for clinical variants of frontotemporal dementia (FTD), histologic FTD variants show no noticeable differences. Reports of specific atrophy profiles are likely the result of idiosyncrasies in small groups. Semantic dementia associated with Alzheimer pathology, however, presented a distinct atrophy pattern.
= Alzheimer disease;
= behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia;
= frontotemporal dementia;
= Alzheimer pathology with semantic dementia;
= frontotemporal dementia with tau inclusions;
= frontotemporal dementia with ubiquitin inclusions;
= frontotemporal lobar degeneration;
= Mini-Mental State Examination;
= progressive nonfluent aphasia;
= semantic dementia;
= voxel-based morphometry.
Objective: To document the prevalence and pattern of stereotypic behaviour in patients with Alzheimer's dementia and frontal and temporal variants of frontotemporal dementia. Secondly, to examine the relationship between stereotypic and other neuropsychiatric behaviours.
Methods: Patients with the following were studied; Alzheimer's disease (n=28), frontal variant frontotemporal dementia (fvFTD, n=18), and semantic dementia—the temporal lobe variant of FTD (n=13). All patients were assessed using the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI), the Mini-Mental State Examination, Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination, and the Clinical Dementia Rating scale. Patients were also rated on the newly devised Stereotypic and Ritualistic Behaviour (SRB) subscale, which was designed as an addendum to the NPI.
Results: There was no significant difference across diagnostic groups in terms of age, sex, or severity of cognitive deficits. The overall NPI was significantly higher in patients with fvFTD compared with the other two groups, but fvFTD and semantic dementia showed a similar, and significantly increased, prevalence of stereotypic behaviours on the SRB subscale. Within the FTD group as a whole these behaviours were more likely to be complex, whereas in Alzheimer's disease, when present, such behaviours tended to be more simple stereotypies or stimulus bound repetitive behaviours. Stereotypic behaviours were not correlated with either disease severity or the extent of cognitive impairment in the fvFTD group, but were in the other two diagnostic groups.
Conclusion: Complex stereotypic behaviours are a core feature of the dementing syndrome in FTD and may reflect early and specific deficits in orbitofrontal circuitry and basal ganglia involvement.
lobe atrophy as assessed by MRI can be measured in several ways.
Volumetric measurements are quantitative but very time consuming and
require extensive training to perform, so are not easily transferable
to clinical practice. Visual rating scales, by contrast, are quick and
widely applicable. Although medial temporal lobe atrophy is well
described in Alzheimer's disease (AD), it is uncertain how early these
changes can be detected and whether they discriminate AD from other
neurodegenerative diseases, most notably frontotemporal dementia (FTD).
The objectives were (1) to develop a widely applicable temporal lobe
rating scale, and (2) to characterise and quantify the patterns of
temporal lobe atrophy in AD versus temporal and frontal variants of FTD.
lobe assessments were made using an established hippocampal rating
scale extended to incorporate additional temporal regions. This was
firstly validated with volumetric analysis and then applied to 30 probable AD, 30 FTD (consisting of 17 temporal variant (semantic
dementia) and 13 frontal variant) and 18 control coronal MRI images.
hippocampal atrophy was found in 50% of the patients with AD. Contrary
to expectations, patients with semantic dementia also had hippocampal
atrophy, which for the left side exceeded that seen in AD; other
regions (temporal pole, parahippocampal gyrus, and lateral temporal
lobe), spared in AD, were severely atrophied in this group. The
patients with frontal variant FTD occupied an intermediate position and
were largely indistinguishable from AD.
atrophy is, therefore, not specific for AD. Semantic dementia can be
distinguished from AD, by the presence of severe bilateral atrophy of
the temporal pole, parahippocampal and lateral regions. These findings
have implications for the differential diagnosis of dementias.
To compare the behavioral features and to investigate the neuroanatomic correlates of behavioral dysfunction in anatomically defined temporal and frontal variants of frontotemporal dementia (tvFTD and fvFTD).
Volumetric measurements of the frontal, anterior temporal, ventromedial frontal cortical (VMFC), and amygdala regions were made in 51 patients with FTD and 20 normal control subjects, as well as 22 patients with Alzheimer disease (AD) who were used as dementia controls. FTD patients were classified as fvFTD or tvFTD based on the relative degree of frontal and anterior temporal volume loss compared with controls. Behavioral symptoms, cerebral volumes, and the relationship between them were examined across groups.
Both variants of FTD showed significant increases in rates of elation, disinhibition, and aberrant motor behavior compared with AD. The fvFTD group also showed more anxiety, apathy, and eating disorders, and tvFTD showed a higher prevalence of sleep disturbances than AD. The only behaviors that differed significantly between fvFTD and tvFTD were apathy, greater in fvFTD, and sleep disorders, more frequent in tvFTD. FvFTD was associated with greater frontal atrophy and tvFTD was associated with more temporal and amygdala atrophy compared with AD, but both groups showed significant atrophy in the VMFC compared with AD, which was not associated with VMFC atrophy. In FTD, the presence of many of the behavioral disorders was associated with decreased volume in right-hemispheric regions.
FvFTD and tvFTD show many similarities in behavior, which appear to be associated with damage to right frontal and temporal structures.
To better define the anatomic distinctions between Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), we retrospectively applied voxel-based morphometry to the earliest magnetic resonance imaging scans of autopsy-proven AD (N=11), FTLD (N=18), and controls (N=40). Compared with controls, AD patients showed gray matter reductions in posterior temporoparietal and occipital cortex; FTLD patients showed atrophy in medial prefrontal and medial temporal cortex, insula, hippocampus, and amygdala; and patients with both disorders showed atrophy in dorsolateral and orbital prefrontal cortex and lateral temporal cortex (PFWE-corr < .05). Compared with FTLD, AD patients had decreased gray matter in posterior parietal and occipital cortex, whereas FTLD patients had selective atrophy in anterior cingulate, frontal insula, subcallosal gyrus, and striatum (P < .001, uncorrected). These findings suggest that AD and FTLD are anatomically distinct, with degeneration of a posterior parietal network in AD and degeneration of a paralimbic fronto-insular-striatal network in FTLD.
Alzheimer’s disease; frontotemporal lobar degeneration; autopsy; magnetic resonance imaging; voxel-based morphometry
Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) can be classified based on the presence of the microtubule associated protein tau and the TAR DNA binding protein-43 (TDP-43). Future treatments will likely target these proteins; therefore it is important to identify biomarkers to help predict protein biochemistry.
To determine whether there is an MRI signature pattern of tau or TDP-43 using a large cohort of FTLD subjects and to investigate how patterns of atrophy change according to disease severity using a large autopsy-confirmed cohort of FTLD subjects.
Patterns of grey matter loss were assessed using voxel-based morphometry in 37 tau-positive and 44 TDP-43 positive subjects compared to 35 age and gender-matched controls, and compared to each other. Comparisons were also repeated in behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) subjects (n=15 tau-positive and n=30 TDP-43 positive). Patterns of atrophy were also assessed according to performance on the clinical dementia rating (CDR) scale and mini-mental state examination (MMSE).
The tau-positive and TDP-43 positive groups showed patterns of frontotemporal grey matter loss compared to controls with no differences observed between the groups, for all subjects and for bvFTD subjects. Patterns of grey matter loss increased in a graded manner by CDR and MMSE with loss in the frontal lobes, insula and hippocampus in mild subjects, spreading to the temporal and parietal cortices and striatum in more advanced disease.
There is no signature pattern of atrophy for tau or TDP-43; however patterns of atrophy in FTLD progress with measures of clinical disease severity.
frontotemporal lobar degeneration; autopsy; tau; TAR DNA binding protein-43; voxel-based morphometry; Clinical Dementia Rating Scale; Mini-Mental State Examination