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1.  Behavioral-variant frontotemporal dementia with corticobasal degeneration pathology: Phenotypic comparison to bvFTD with Pick’s disease 
Patients with corticobasal degeneration (CBD) pathology present with diverse clinical syndromes also associated with other neuropathologies, including corticobasal syndrome, progressive nonfluent aphasia, and an Alzheimer’s-type dementia. Some present with behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), though this subtype still requires more detailed phenotypic characterization. All patients with CBD pathology and clinical assessment were reviewed (N=17) and selected if they initially met criteria for bvFTD [bvFTD(CBD): N=5]. Available bvFTD patients with Pick’s [bvFTD(Pick’s): N=5] were selected as controls. Patients were also compared to healthy older controls [N=53] on neuropsychological and neuroimaging measures. At initial presentation, bvFTD(CBD) showed few neuropsychological or motor differences from bvFTD(Pick’s). Neuropsychiatrically, they were predominantly apathetic with less florid social disinhibition and eating disturbances, and were more anxious than bvFTD(Pick’s) patients. Voxel-based morphometry revealed similar patterns of predominantly frontal atrophy between bvFTD groups, though overall degree of atrophy was less severe in bvFTD(CBD), who also showed comparative preservation of the frontoinsular rim, with dorsal > ventral frontal atrophy, and sparing of temporal and parietal structures relative to bvFTD(Pick’s) patients. Despite remarkable overlap between the two patient types, bvFTD patients with underlying CBD pathology show subtle clinical features that may distinguish them from patients with Pick’s disease neuropathology.
doi:10.1007/s12031-011-9615-2
PMCID: PMC3208125  PMID: 21881831
Corticobasal degeneration; frontotemporal dementia; behavior; neuropsychiatry; neuropsychology; neuropathology
2.  Two distinct subtypes of right temporal variant frontotemporal dementia 
Neurology  2009;73(18):1443-1450.
Background:
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.
Methods:
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.
Results:
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).
Conclusions:
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.
GLOSSARY
= 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.
doi:10.1212/WNL.0b013e3181bf9945
PMCID: PMC2779005  PMID: 19884571
3.  Clinical, neuroimaging and neuropathological features of a new chromosome 9p-linked FTD-ALS family 
Background
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.
Methods
The authors report the clinical, volumetric MRI, neuropathological and genetic features of a new chromosome 9p-linked FTD-ALS family, VSM-20.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1136/jnnp.2009.204081
PMCID: PMC3017222  PMID: 20562461
4.  MRI Correlates of Protein Deposition and Disease Severity in Postmortem Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration 
Neuro-degenerative diseases  2009;6(3):106-117.
Background
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.
Objective
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.
Methods
Patterns of gray 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).
Results
The tau-positive and TDP-43-positive groups showed patterns of frontotemporal gray matter loss compared to controls with no differences observed between the groups, for all subjects and for bvFTD subjects. Patterns of gray 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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.1159/000209507
PMCID: PMC2745704  PMID: 19299900
Frontotemporal lobar degeneration; Autopsy; Tau; TAR DNA binding protein-43; Voxel-based morphometry; Clinical Dementia Rating Scale; Mini-Mental State Examination
5.  MRI correlates of protein deposition and disease severity in postmortem frontotemporal lobar degeneration 
Neuro-degenerative diseases  2009;6(3):106-117.
Background
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.
Objective
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.
Methods
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).
Results
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.1159/000209507
PMCID: PMC2745704  PMID: 19299900
frontotemporal lobar degeneration; autopsy; tau; TAR DNA binding protein-43; voxel-based morphometry; Clinical Dementia Rating Scale; Mini-Mental State Examination
6.  Sequential distribution of pTDP-43 pathology in behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) 
Acta neuropathologica  2014;127(3):423-439.
We examined regional distribution patterns of phosphorylated 43-kDa TAr DNA-binding protein (pTDP-43) intraneuronal inclusions in frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). Immunohistochemistry was performed on 70 μm sections from FTLD-TDP autopsy cases (n = 39) presenting with behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia. Two main types of cortical pTDP-43 pathology emerged, characterized by either predominantly perikaryal pTDP-43 inclusions (cytoplasmic type, cFTLD) or long aggregates in dendrites (neuritic type, nFTLD). Cortical involvement in nFTLD was extensive and frequently reached occipital areas, whereas cases with cFTLD often involved bulbar somatomotor neurons and the spinal cord. We observed four patterns indicative of potentially sequential dissemination of pTDP-43: cases with the lowest burden of pathology (pattern I) were characterized by widespread pTDP-43 lesions in the orbital gyri, gyrus rectus, and amygdala. With increasing burden of pathology (pattern II) pTDP-43 lesions emerged in the middle frontal and anterior cingulate gyrus as well as in anteromedial temporal lobe areas, the superior and medial temporal gyri, striatum, red nucleus, thalamus, and precerebellar nuclei. More advanced cases showed a third pattern (III) with involvement of the motor cortex, bulbar somatomotor neurons, and the spinal cord anterior horn, whereas cases with the highest burden of pathology (pattern IV) were characterized by pTDP-43 lesions in the visual cortex. We interpret the four neuropathological patterns in bvFTD to be consistent with the hypothesis that pTDP-43 pathology can spread sequentially and may propagate along axonal pathways.
doi:10.1007/s00401-013-1238-y
PMCID: PMC3971993  PMID: 24407427
ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; Frontotemporal lobar degeneration; FTLD, frontotemporal dementia; FTD; Neurodegeneration; Proteinopathies; TDP-43
7.  Neuroanatomical correlates of emotional blunting in behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia and early-onset Alzheimer’s disease 
Background
Emotional blunting is a characteristic feature of behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) and can help discriminate between patients with bvFTD and other forms of younger-onset dementia.
Objective
We compared the presence of emotional blunting symptoms in patients with bvFTD and early-onset Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and investigated the neuroanatomical associations between emotional blunting and regional brain volume.
Methods
Twenty-five individuals with bvFTD (n=11) and early-onset AD (n=14) underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and were rated on symptoms of emotional blunting using the Scale for Emotional Blunting (SEB). The two groups were compared on SEB ratings and MRI-derived brain volume using tensor-based morphometry (TBM). Voxel-wise linear regression was performed to determine neuroanatomical correlates of SEB scores.
Results
The bvFTD group had significantly higher SEB scores compared to the AD group. On MRI, bvFTD patients had smaller bilateral frontal lobe volume compared to AD patients, while AD patients had smaller bilateral temporal and left parietal volume than bvFTD patients. In bvFTD, SEB ratings were strongly correlated with right anterior temporal volume, while the association between SEB and the right orbitofrontal cortex was non-significant.
Conclusions
Symptoms of emotional blunting were more prevalent in bvFTD than early-onset AD patients. These symptoms were particularly associated with right-sided atrophy, with significant involvement of the right anterior temporal region. Based on these findings, the SEB may be a useful diagnostic instrument for identifying a key clinical feature of bvFTD and appears to measure symptoms that are localized to the right anterior temporal lobe.
doi:10.3233/JAD-132219
PMCID: PMC4111835  PMID: 24685626
Frontotemporal Dementia; Alzheimer’s Disease; Early Onset; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; emotional blunting
8.  Does TDP-43 type confer a distinct pattern of atrophy in frontotemporal lobar degeneration? 
Neurology  2010;75(24):2212-2220.
Objective:
To determine whether TDP-43 type is associated with distinct patterns of brain atrophy on MRI in subjects with pathologically confirmed frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD).
Methods:
In this case-control study, we identified all subjects with a pathologic diagnosis of FTLD with TDP-43 immunoreactive inclusions (FTLD-TDP) and at least one volumetric head MRI scan (n = 42). In each case we applied published criteria for subclassification of FTLD-TDP into FTLD-TDP types 1-3. Voxel-based morphometry was used to compare subjects with each of the different FTLD-TDP types to age- and gender-matched normal controls (n = 30). We also assessed different pathologic and genetic variants within, and across, the different types.
Results:
Twenty-two subjects were classified as FTLD-TDP type 1, 9 as type 2, and 11 as type 3. We identified different patterns of atrophy across the types with type 1 showing frontotemporal and parietal atrophy, type 2 predominantly anterior temporal lobe atrophy, and type 3 predominantly posterior frontal atrophy. Within the FTLD-TDP type 1 group, those with a progranulin mutation had significantly more lateral temporal lobe atrophy than those without. All type 2 subjects were diagnosed with semantic dementia. Subjects with a pathologic diagnosis of FTLD with motor neuron degeneration had a similar pattern of atrophy, regardless of whether they were type 1 or type 3.
Conclusions:
Although there are different patterns of atrophy across the different FTLD-TDP types, it appears that genetic and pathologic factors may also affect the patterns of atrophy.
GLOSSARY
= Alzheimer disease;
= Alzheimer's Disease Research Center;
= behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia;
= corticobasal syndrome;
= Clinical Dementia Rating scale sum of boxes;
= frontotemporal lobar degeneration;
= frontotemporal lobar degeneration with motor neuron degeneration;
= frontotemporal lobar degeneration with TDP-43 immunoreactive inclusions;
= Mini-Mental State Examination;
= neuronal cytoplasmic inclusion;
= progressive nonfluent aphasia;
= semantic dementia;
= Short Test of Mental Status;
= voxel-based morphometry.
doi:10.1212/WNL.0b013e31820203c2
PMCID: PMC3013590  PMID: 21172844
9.  TDP-43 subtypes are associated with distinct atrophy patterns in frontotemporal dementia 
Neurology  2010;75(24):2204-2211.
Background:
We sought to describe the antemortem clinical and neuroimaging features among patients with frontotemporal lobar degeneration with TDP-43 immunoreactive inclusions (FTLD-TDP).
Methods:
Subjects were recruited from a consecutive series of patients with a primary neuropathologic diagnosis of FTLD-TDP and antemortem MRI. Twenty-eight patients met entry criteria: 9 with type 1, 5 with type 2, and 10 with type 3 FTLD-TDP. Four patients had too sparse FTLD-TDP pathology to be subtyped. Clinical, neuropsychological, and neuroimaging features of these cases were reviewed. Voxel-based morphometry was used to assess regional gray matter atrophy in relation to a group of 50 cognitively normal control subjects.
Results:
Clinical diagnosis varied between the groups: semantic dementia was only associated with type 1 pathology, whereas progressive nonfluent aphasia and corticobasal syndrome were only associated with type 3. Behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia and frontotemporal dementia with motor neuron disease were seen in type 2 or type 3 pathology. The neuroimaging analysis revealed distinct patterns of atrophy between the pathologic subtypes: type 1 was associated with asymmetric anterior temporal lobe atrophy (either left- or right-predominant) with involvement also of the orbitofrontal lobes and insulae; type 2 with relatively symmetric atrophy of the medial temporal, medial prefrontal, and orbitofrontal-insular cortices; and type 3 with asymmetric atrophy (either left- or right-predominant) involving more dorsal areas including frontal, temporal, and inferior parietal cortices as well as striatum and thalamus. No significant atrophy was seen among patients with too sparse pathology to be subtyped.
Conclusions:
FTLD-TDP subtypes have distinct clinical and neuroimaging features, highlighting the relevance of FTLD-TDP subtyping to clinicopathologic correlation.
GLOSSARY
= behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia;
= corticobasal syndrome;
= Clinical Dementia Rating;
= false discovery rate;
= frontotemporal dementia;
= frontotemporal lobar degeneration;
= frontotemporal lobar degeneration with TDP-43 immunoreactive inclusions;
= fused in sarcoma;
= Mini-Mental State Examination;
= motor neuron disease;
= progressive nonfluent aphasia;
= TAR DNA-binding protein of 43 kDa;
= University of California, San Francisco;
= voxel-based morphometry.
doi:10.1212/WNL.0b013e318202038c
PMCID: PMC3013589  PMID: 21172843
10.  Neural substrates of episodic memory dysfunction in behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia with and without C9ORF72 expansions☆ 
NeuroImage : Clinical  2013;2:836-843.
The recently discovered hexanucleotide repeat expansion, C9ORF72, has been shown to be among the most common cause of familial behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) and to be present in a significant minority of apparently sporadic cases. While mounting evidence points to prominent episodic memory dysfunction in bvFTD cases, recent reports have also suggested an amnestic profile in C9ORF72 mutation carriers. No study to date, however, has formally characterised the extent to which episodic memory is impaired in C9ORF72 mutation versus sporadic cases, or the underlying neural substrates of such deficits. We conducted a comparison of C9ORF72 (n = 8) and sporadic (n = 15) bvFTD cases using a battery of verbal and visual episodic memory tasks, and contrasted their performance with that of Alzheimer's disease (AD, n = 15) and healthy older control (n = 15) participants. Behaviourally, the two bvFTD groups displayed comparable episodic memory profiles, irrespective of task administered, with prominent impairments evident relative to Controls. Whole-brain voxel-based morphometry analyses revealed distinct neural correlates of episodic memory dysfunction in each patient group. Widespread atrophy in medial prefrontal, medial and lateral temporal cortices correlated robustly with episodic memory dysfunction in sporadic bvFTD cases. In contrast, atrophy in a distributed set of regions in the frontal, temporal, and parietal lobes including the posterior cingulate cortex, was implicated in episodic memory dysfunction in C9ORF72 cases. Our results demonstrate that while episodic memory is disrupted to the same extent irrespective of genetic predisposition in bvFTD, distinct neural changes specific to each patient group are evident. The involvement of medial and lateral parietal regions in episodic memory dysfunction in C9ORF72 cases is of particular significance and represents an avenue of considerable interest for future studies.
Highlights
•We assessed episodic memory in bvFTD patients with and without C9ORF72 mutations.•Episodic memory deficits were present in C9ORF72 cases relative to Controls.•C9ORF72 and sporadic bvFTD cases showed equivalent episodic memory profiles.•Neural substrates of memory disruption differed contingent on mutation status.•Medial and lateral parietal involvement in C9ORF72 memory deficits is notable.
doi:10.1016/j.nicl.2013.06.005
PMCID: PMC3778250  PMID: 24179835
Episodic memory; Frontotemporal dementia; Alzheimer's disease; C9ORF72 mutation; Neuroimaging
11.  The pathogenesis of cingulate atrophy in behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer’s disease 
Background
Early atrophy of the cingulate cortex is a feature of both behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD), with degeneration of the anterior cingulate region increasingly recognized as a strong predictor of bvFTD. The total number of neurons in this region, rather than the density of neurons, is associated with mood disturbance in other dementias, although there are no data on the extent and magnitude of neuronal loss in patients with bvFTD. While the density of small populations of neurons in this region has been assessed, it is unlikely that the degree of atrophy of the cingulate cortex seen in bvFTD can be explained by the loss of these subpopulations. This suggests that there is more generalized degeneration of neurons in this region in bvFTD.
The present study assesses total neuronal number, as well as characteristic pathologies, in the anterior and posterior cingulate cortices of pathologically confirmed bvFTD (N = 11) and AD (N = 9) patients compared with age-matched controls (N = 14). The bvFTD cohort comprised 5 cases with tau pathology (Pick’s disease), and 6 with TDP-43 pathology.
Results
At postmortem, atrophy was detected in the anterior and posterior cingulate cortices of bvFTD cases, but only in the posterior cingulate cortex of AD cases. As predicted, there was a significant reduction in both the density and total number of neurons in the anterior but not the posterior cingulate cortex of bvFTD cases with the opposite observed for the AD cases. Importantly, neuronal loss in the anterior cingulate cortex was only observed in cases with tau pathology.
Conclusions
This study confirms significant neuronal loss in the posterior but not anterior cingulate cortex in AD, and demonstrates that significant neuron loss in bvFTD occurs only in the anterior cingulate cortex but only in cases with tau pathology compared with cases with TDP pathology. We propose that significant neurodegeneration in the anterior cingulate cortex may be useful in differentiating the pathological subtypes in vivo.
doi:10.1186/2051-5960-1-30
PMCID: PMC3893385  PMID: 24252534
Anterior cingulate cortex; Posterior cingulate cortex; Behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia; Alzheimer’s disease; Tau; TDP-43
12.  Atrophy patterns in histologic vs clinical groupings of frontotemporal lobar degeneration 
Neurology  2009;72(19):1653-1660.
Objective:
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.
Methods:
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.
Results:
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.
Conclusions:
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.
GLOSSARY
= 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.
doi:10.1212/WNL.0b013e3181a55fa2
PMCID: PMC2827263  PMID: 19433738
13.  Atypical, slowly progressive behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia associated with C9ORF72 hexanucleotide expansion 
Background
Some patients meeting behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) diagnostic criteria progress slowly and plateau at mild symptom severity. Such patients have mild neuropsychological and functional impairments, lack characteristic bvFTD brain atrophy, and have thus been referred to as bvFTD “phenocopies” or slowly progressive (bvFTD-SP). The few patients with bvFTD-SP that have been studied at autopsy have found no evidence of FTD pathology, suggesting that bvFTD-SP is neuropathologically distinct from other forms of FTD. Here, we describe two patients with bvFTD-SP with chromosome 9 open reading frame 72 (C9ORF72) hexanucleotide expansions.
Methods
Three hundred and eighty-four patients with FTD clinical spectrum and Alzheimer’s disease diagnoses were screened for C9ORF72 expansion. Two bvFTD-SP mutation carriers were identified. Neuropsychological and functional data, as well as brain atrophy patterns assessed using voxel-based morphometry (VBM), were compared with 44 patients with sporadic bvFTD and 85 healthy controls.
Results
Both patients were age 48 at baseline and met possible bvFTD criteria. In the first patient, VBM revealed thalamic and posterior insula atrophy. Over seven years, his neuropsychological performance and brain atrophy remained stable. In the second patient, VBM revealed cortical atrophy with subtle frontal and insular volume loss. Over two years, her neuropsychological and functional scores as well as brain atrophy remained stable.
Conclusions
C9ORF72 mutations can present with a bvFTD-SP phenotype. Some bvFTD-SP patients may have neurodegenerative pathology, and C9ORF72 mutations should be considered in patients with bvFTD-SP and a family history of dementia or motor neuron disease.
doi:10.1136/jnnp-2011-301883
PMCID: PMC3388906  PMID: 22399793
C9ORF72; C9FTD/ALS; frontotemporal dementia; genetics; dementia
14.  Imaging correlates of pathology in corticobasal syndrome(Podcast) 
Neurology  2010;75(21):1879-1887.
Background:
Corticobasal syndrome (CBS) can be associated with different underlying pathologies that are difficult to predict based on clinical presentation. The aim of this study was to determine whether patterns of atrophy on imaging could be useful to help predict underlying pathology in CBS.
Methods:
This was a case-control study of 24 patients with CBS who had undergone MRI during life and came to autopsy. Pathologic diagnoses included frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) with TDP-43 immunoreactivity in 5 (CBS-TDP), Alzheimer disease (AD) in 6 (CBS-AD), corticobasal degeneration in 7 (CBS-CBD), and progressive supranuclear palsy in 6 (CBS-PSP). Voxel-based morphometry and atlas-based parcellation were used to assess atrophy across the CBS groups and compared to 24 age- and gender-matched controls.
Results:
All CBS pathologic groups showed gray matter loss in premotor cortices, supplemental motor area, and insula on imaging. However, CBS-TDP and CBS-AD showed more widespread patterns of loss, with frontotemporal loss observed in CBS-TDP and temporoparietal loss observed in CBS-AD. CBS-TDP showed significantly greater loss in prefrontal cortex than the other groups, whereas CBS-AD showed significantly greater loss in parietal lobe than the other groups. The focus of loss was similar in CBS-CBD and CBS-PSP, although more severe in CBS-CBD.
Conclusions:
Imaging patterns of atrophy in CBS vary according to pathologic diagnosis. Widespread atrophy points toward a pathologic diagnosis of FTLD-TDP or AD, with frontotemporal loss suggesting FTLD-TDP and temporoparietal loss suggesting AD. On the contrary, more focal atrophy predominantly involving the premotor and supplemental motor area suggests CBD or PSP pathology.
GLOSSARY
= automated anatomic labeling;
= Alzheimer disease;
= corticobasal degeneration;
= corticobasal syndrome;
= Clinical Dementia Rating sum of boxes;
= false discovery rate;
= frontotemporal lobar degeneration;
= Mini-Mental State Examination;
= progressive supranuclear palsy;
= region of interest;
= supplemental motor area;
= TDP-43 immunoreactivity;
= total intracranial volume;
= voxel-based morphometry.
doi:10.1212/WNL.0b013e3181feb2e8
PMCID: PMC2995388  PMID: 21098403
15.  Altered functional connectivity in asymptomatic MAPT subjects 
Neurology  2011;77(9):866-874.
Objective:
To determine whether functional connectivity is altered in subjects with mutations in the microtubule associated protein tau (MAPT) gene who were asymptomatic but were destined to develop dementia, and to compare these findings to those in subjects with behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD).
Methods:
In this case-control study, we identified 8 asymptomatic subjects with mutations in MAPT and 8 controls who screened negative for mutations in MAPT. Twenty-one subjects with a clinical diagnosis of bvFTD were also identified and matched to 21 controls. All subjects had resting-state fMRI. In-phase functional connectivity was assessed between a precuneus seed in the default mode network (DMN) and a fronto-insular cortex seed in the salience network, and the rest of the brain. Atlas-based parcellation was used to assess functional connectivity and gray matter volume across specific regions of interest.
Results:
The asymptomatic MAPT subjects and subjects with bvFTD showed altered functional connectivity in the DMN, with reduced in-phase connectivity in lateral temporal lobes and medial prefrontal cortex, compared to controls. Increased in-phase connectivity was also observed in both groups in the medial parietal lobe. Only the bvFTD group showed altered functional connectivity in the salience network, with reduced connectivity in the fronto-insular cortex and anterior cingulate. Gray matter loss was observed across temporal, frontal, and parietal regions in bvFTD, but not in the asymptomatic MAPT subjects.
Conclusions:
Functional connectivity in the DMN is altered in MAPT subjects before the occurrence of both atrophy and clinical symptoms, suggesting that changes in functional connectivity are early features of the disease.
doi:10.1212/WNL.0b013e31822c61f2
PMCID: PMC3162637  PMID: 21849646
16.  Patterns of Brain Atrophy in Clinical Variants of Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration 
Background/Aims
The clinical syndromes of frontotemporal lobar degeneration include behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) and semantic (SV-PPA) and nonfluent variants (NF-PPA) of primary progressive aphasia. Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), tensor-based morphometry (TBM) was used to determine distinct patterns of atrophy between these three clinical groups.
Methods
Twenty-seven participants diagnosed with bvFTD, 16 with SV-PPA, and 19 with NF-PPA received baseline and follow-up MRI scans approximately 1 year apart. TBM was used to create three-dimensional Jacobian maps of local brain atrophy rates for individual subjects.
Results
Regional analyses were performed on the three-dimensional maps and direct comparisons between groups (corrected for multiple comparisons using permutation tests) revealed significantly greater frontal lobe and frontal white matter atrophy in the bvFTD relative to the SV-PPA group (p < 0.005). The SV-PPA subjects exhibited significantly greater atrophy than the bvFTD in the fusiform gyrus (p = 0.007). The NF-PPA group showed significantly more atrophy in the parietal lobes relative to both bvFTD and SV-PPA groups (p < 0.05). Percent volume change in ventromedial prefrontal cortex was significantly associated with baseline behavioral symptomatology.
Conclusion
The bvFTD, SV-PPA, and NF-PPA groups displayed distinct patterns of progressive atrophy over a 1-year period that correspond well to the behavioral disturbances characteristic of the clinical syndromes. More specifically, the bvFTD group showed significant white matter contraction and presence of behavioral symptoms at baseline predicted significant volume loss of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex.
doi:10.1159/000345523
PMCID: PMC3609420  PMID: 23306166
Frontotemporal dementia; Primary progressive aphasia; Longitudinal study; Magnetic resonance imaging; Tensor-based morphometry; White matter
17.  Neuropathological background of phenotypical variability in frontotemporal dementia 
Acta Neuropathologica  2011;122(2):137-153.
Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) is the umbrella term encompassing a heterogeneous group of pathological disorders. With recent discoveries, the FTLDs have been show to classify nicely into three main groups based on the major protein deposited in the brain: FTLD-tau, FTLD-TDP and FTLD-FUS. These pathological groups, and their specific pathologies, underlie a number of well-defined clinical syndromes, including three frontotemporal dementia (FTD) variants [behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), progressive non-fluent aphasia, and semantic dementia (SD)], progressive supranuclear palsy syndrome (PSPS) and corticobasal syndrome (CBS). Understanding the neuropathological background of the phenotypic variability in FTD, PSPS and CBS requires large clinicopathological studies. We review current knowledge on the relationship between the FTLD pathologies and clinical syndromes, and pool data from a number of large clinicopathological studies that collectively provide data on 544 cases. Strong relationships were identified as follows: FTD with motor neuron disease and FTLD-TDP; SD and FTLD-TDP; PSPS and FTLD-tau; and CBS and FTLD-tau. However, the relationship between some of these clinical diagnoses and specific pathologies is not so clear cut. In addition, the clinical diagnosis of bvFTD does not have a strong relationship to any FTLD subtype or specific pathology and therefore remains a diagnostic challenge. Some evidence suggests improved clinicopathological association of bvFTD by further refining clinical characteristics. Unlike FTLD-tau and FTLD-TDP, FTLD-FUS has been less well characterized, with only 69 cases reported. However, there appears to be some associations between clinical phenotypes and FTLD-FUS pathologies. Clinical diagnosis is therefore promising in predicting molecular pathology.
doi:10.1007/s00401-011-0839-6
PMCID: PMC3232515  PMID: 21614463
Frontotemporal lobar degeneration; Progressive supranuclear palsy; Tau; TDP-43; FUS
18.  Profiles of White Matter Tract Pathology in Frontotemporal Dementia 
Human Brain Mapping  2014;35(8):4163-4179.
Despite considerable interest in improving clinical and neurobiological characterisation of frontotemporal dementia and in defining the role of brain network disintegration in its pathogenesis, information about white matter pathway alterations in frontotemporal dementia remains limited. Here we investigated white matter tract damage using an unbiased, template-based diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) protocol in a cohort of 27 patients with the behavioral variant of frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) representing both major genetic and sporadic forms, in relation both to healthy individuals and to patients with Alzheimer's disease. Widespread white matter tract pathology was identified in the bvFTD group compared with both healthy controls and Alzheimer's disease group, with prominent involvement of uncinate fasciculus, cingulum bundle and corpus callosum. Relatively discrete and distinctive white matter profiles were associated with genetic subgroups of bvFTD associated with MAPT and C9ORF72 mutations. Comparing diffusivity metrics, optimal overall separation of the bvFTD group from the healthy control group was signalled using radial diffusivity, whereas optimal overall separation of the bvFTD group from the Alzheimer's disease group was signalled using fractional anisotropy. Comparing white matter changes with regional grey matter atrophy (delineated using voxel based morphometry) in the bvFTD cohort revealed co-localisation between modalities particularly in the anterior temporal lobe, however white matter changes extended widely beyond the zones of grey matter atrophy. Our findings demonstrate a distributed signature of white matter alterations that is likely to be core to the pathophysiology of bvFTD and further suggest that this signature is modulated by underlying molecular pathologies.
doi:10.1002/hbm.22468
PMCID: PMC4312919  PMID: 24510641
frontotemporal dementia; DTI; tract; tractography; white matter
19.  Grey and White Matter Changes across the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis-Frontotemporal Dementia Continuum 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(8):e43993.
There is increasing evidence that amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) lie on a clinical, pathological and genetic continuum with patients of one disease exhibiting features of the other. Nevertheless, to date, the underlying grey matter and white matter changes across the ALS-FTD disease continuum have not been explored. In this study fifty-three participants with ALS (n = 10), ALS-FTD (n = 10) and behavioural variant FTD (bvFTD; n = 15) as well as controls (n = 18), underwent detailed clinical assessment plus structural imaging using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) analysis of magnetic resonance brain imaging to examine grey and white matter differences and commonalities across the continuum. Importantly, patient groups were matched for age, education, gender and disease duration. VBM and DTI results showed that changes in the ALS group were confined mainly to the motor cortex and anterior cingulate as well as their underlying white matter tracts. ALS-FTD and bvFTD showed widespread grey matter and white matter changes involving frontal and temporal lobes. Extensive prefrontal cortex changes emerged as a marker for bvFTD compared to other subtypes, while ALS-FTD could be distinguished from ALS by additional temporal lobe grey and white matter changes. Finally, ALS could be mainly distinguished from the other two groups by corticospinal tract degeneration. The present study shows for the first time that FTD and ALS overlap in anterior cingulate, motor cortex and related white matter tract changes across the whole continuum. Nevertheless, frontal and temporal atrophy as well as corticospinal tract degeneration emerged as marker for subtype classification, which will inform future diagnosis and target disease management across the continuum.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0043993
PMCID: PMC3430626  PMID: 22952843
20.  Right temporal variant frontotemporal dementia with motor neuron disease 
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.
doi:10.1016/j.jocn.2011.06.007
PMCID: PMC3248959  PMID: 22051030
Frontotemporal dementia; Motor neuron disease; TDP-43; Voxel based morphometry (VBM); positron emission tomography (PET
21.  Frontal asymmetry in behavioral variant FTD: clinicoimaging & pathogenetic correlates 
Neurobiology of aging  2012;34(2):636-639.
We aimed to assess associations between clinical, imaging, pathological and genetic features and frontal lobe asymmetry in behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD). Volumes of the left and right dorsolateral, medial and orbital frontal lobes were measured in 80 bvFTD subjects and subjects were classified into three groups according to the degree of asymmetry (asymmetric left, asymmetric right, symmetric) using cluster analysis. The majority of subjects were symmetric (65%), with 20% asymmetric left and 15% asymmetric right. There were no clinical differences across groups, although there was a trend for greater behavioral dyscontrol in right asymmetric compared to left asymmetric subjects. More widespread atrophy involving the parietal lobe was observed in the symmetric group. Genetic features differed across groups with symmetric frontal lobes associated with C9ORF72 and tau mutations, while asymmetric frontal lobes were associated with progranulin mutations. These findings therefore suggest that neuroanatomical patterns of frontal lobe atrophy in bvFTD are influenced by specific gene mutations.
doi:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2012.03.009
PMCID: PMC3404265  PMID: 22502999
Frontotemporal dementia; frontal lobes; MRI; asymmetry; microtubule associated protein tau; progranulin; C9ORF72; pathology
22.  Frontal Paralimbic Network Atrophy in Very Mild Behavioral Variant Frontotemporal Dementia 
Archives of neurology  2008;65(2):249-255.
Background:
Behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) strikes hardest at the frontal lobes, but the sites of earliest injury remain unclear.
Objective:
To determine atrophy patterns in distinct clinical stages of bvFTD, testing the hypothesis that the mildest stage is restricted to frontal paralimbic cortex.
Design:
A bvFTD cohort study.
Setting:
University hospital dementia clinic.
Participants:
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.
Results:
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.
Conclusions:
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.
doi:10.1001/archneurol.2007.38
PMCID: PMC2544627  PMID: 18268196
23.  Clinicopathologic differences among patients with behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia 
Neurology  2007;69(11):1113-1121.
Objective
To characterize the presenting symptoms and signs of patients clinically diagnosed with behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) and who had different neuropathologic findings on autopsy.
Methods
This study reviewed all patients entered as clinical bvFTD in the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center’s database and who had both clinical and neuropathologic data from 2005 to 2011. Among the 107 patients identified, 95 had unambiguous pathologic findings, including 74 with frontotemporal lobar degeneration (bvFTD-FTLD) and 21 with Alzheimer disease (bvFTD-AD). The patients with bvFTD-FTLD were further subdivided into τ-positive (n = 23) or τ-negative (n = 51) histopathology subgroups. Presenting clinical signs and symptoms were compared between these neuropathologic groups.
Results
The patients with bvFTD-FTLD were significantly more likely than patients with bvFTD-AD to have initially predominant personality changes and poor judgment/decision-making. In contrast, patients with bvFTD-AD were more likely than patients with bvFTD-FTLD to have memory difficulty and delusions/hallucinations and agitation. Within the bvFTD-FTLD group, the τ-positive subgroup had more patients with initial behavioral problems and personality change than the τ-negative subgroup, who, in turn, had more patients with initial cognitive impairment and speech problems.
Conclusion
During life, patients with AD pathology may be misdiagnosed with bvFTD if they have an early age at onset and prominent neuropsychiatric features despite having greater memory difficulties and more intact personality and executive functions than patients with bvFTD-FTLD. Among those with FTLD pathology, patients with τ-positive bvFTD were likely to present with behavior/personality changes. These findings offer clues for antemortem recognition of neuropathologic subtypes of bvFTD.
doi:10.1212/01.wnl.0000267701.58488.69
PMCID: PMC3545400  PMID: 17522386
24.  Clinicopathologic differences among patients with behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia 
Neurology  2013;80(6):561-568.
Objective:
To characterize the presenting symptoms and signs of patients clinically diagnosed with behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) and who had different neuropathologic findings on autopsy.
Methods:
This study reviewed all patients entered as clinical bvFTD in the National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center's database and who had both clinical and neuropathologic data from 2005 to 2011. Among the 107 patients identified, 95 had unambiguous pathologic findings, including 74 with frontotemporal lobar degeneration (bvFTD-FTLD) and 21 with Alzheimer disease (bvFTD-AD). The patients with bvFTD-FTLD were further subdivided into τ-positive (n = 23) or τ-negative (n = 51) histopathology subgroups. Presenting clinical signs and symptoms were compared between these neuropathologic groups.
Results:
The patients with bvFTD-FTLD were significantly more likely than patients with bvFTD-AD to have initially predominant personality changes and poor judgment/decision-making. In contrast, patients with bvFTD-AD were more likely than patients with bvFTD-FTLD to have memory difficulty and delusions/hallucinations and agitation. Within the bvFTD-FTLD group, the τ-positive subgroup had more patients with initial behavioral problems and personality change than the τ-negative subgroup, who, in turn, had more patients with initial cognitive impairment and speech problems.
Conclusion:
During life, patients with AD pathology may be misdiagnosed with bvFTD if they have an early age at onset and prominent neuropsychiatric features despite having greater memory difficulties and more intact personality and executive functions than patients with bvFTD-FTLD. Among those with FTLD pathology, patients with τ-positive bvFTD were likely to present with behavior/personality changes. These findings offer clues for antemortem recognition of neuropathologic subtypes of bvFTD.
doi:10.1212/WNL.0b013e3182815547
PMCID: PMC3589292  PMID: 23325909
25.  Frequency of ubiquitin and FUS-positive, TDP-43-negative frontotemporal lobar degeneration 
Journal of Neurology  2009;257(5):747-753.
Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) is a clinically, genetically and pathologically heterogeneous disorder. Within FTLD with ubiquitin-positive inclusions (FTLD-U), a new pathological subtype named FTLD-FUS was recently found with fused in sarcoma (FUS) positive, TDP-43-negative inclusions, and striking atrophy of the caudate nucleus. The aim of this study was to determine the frequency of FTLD-FUS in our pathological FTLD series, and to describe the clinical, neuroimaging and neuropathological features of FTLD-FUS, especially caudate atrophy. Demographic and clinical data collected prospectively from 387 patients with frontotemporal dementia (FTD) yielded 74 brain specimens. Immunostaining was carried out using a panel of antibodies, including AT-8, ubiquitin, p62, FUS, and TDP-43. Cortical and caudate atrophy on MRI (n = 136) was rated as normal, mild-moderate or severe. Of the 37 FTLD-U cases, 33 were reclassified as FTLD-TDP and four (0.11, 95%: 0.00–0.21) as FTLD-FUS, with ubiquitin and FUS-positive, p62 and TDP-43-negative neuronal intranuclear inclusions (NII). All four FTLD-FUS cases had a negative family history, behavioural variant FTD (bvFTD), and three had an age at onset ≤40 years. MRI revealed mild-moderate or severe caudate atrophy in all, with a mean duration from onset till MRI of 63 months (range 16–119 months). In our total clinical FTD cohort, we found 11 patients (0.03; 95% CI: 0.01–0.05) with bvFTD, negative family history, and age at onset ≤40 years. Caudate atrophy was present in 10 out of 136 MRIs, and included all four FUS-cases. The newly identified FTLD-FUS has a frequency of 11% in FTLD-U, and an estimated frequency of three percent in our clinical FTD cohort. The existence of this pathological subtype can be predicted with reasonable certainty by age at onset ≤40 years, negative family history, bvFTD and caudate atrophy on MRI.
doi:10.1007/s00415-009-5404-z
PMCID: PMC2864899  PMID: 19946779
Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD); Ubiquitin; p62; TDP-43; FUS

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