To use a case-control study to assess and compare patterns of gray matter loss across groups of subjects with different mutations in the microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) gene.
We identified all subjects from Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, that screened positive for mutations in MAPT and had a head MRI (n = 22). Voxel-based morphometry was used to assess patterns of gray matter atrophy in groups of subjects with the IVS10+16, IVS10+3, N279K, S305N, P301L, and V337M mutations compared with age- and sex-matched controls.
All MAPT groups showed gray matter loss in the anterior temporal lobes, with varying degrees of involvement of the frontal and parietal lobes. Within the temporal lobe, the subjects with IVS10+16, IVS10+3, N279K, and S305N mutations (mutations that influence the alternative splicing of tau pre–messenger RNA) all showed gray matter loss focused on the medial temporal lobes. In contrast to these groups, the subjects with P301L or V337M mutations (mutations that affect the structure of the tau protein) both showed gray matter loss focused on the lateral temporal lobes, with a relative sparing of the medial temporal lobe.
There seem to be differences in patterns of temporal lobe atrophy across the MAPT mutations, which may aid in the differentiation of the different mutation carriers. Furthermore, there seems to be a possible association between mutation function and pattern of temporal lobe atrophy.
= Alzheimer’s Disease Patient Registry;
= Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center;
= Auditory Verbal Learning Test;
= Boston Naming Test;
= behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia;
= behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia with parkinsonism;
= Clinical Dementia Rating Scale sum of boxes;
= disease duration;
= false discovery rate;
= frontotemporal lobar degeneration;
= microtubule-associated protein tau;
= Montreal Neurological Institute;
= messenger RNA;
= not applicable;
= primary progressive aphasia;
= Short Test of Mental Status;
= voxel-based morphometry.