The advent of new immunostains have improved our ability to detect limbic and cortical Lewy bodies, and it is now evident that Dementa with Lewy bodies (DLB) is the second most common neurodegenerative dementia, after Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Distinguishing DLB from AD has important implications for treatment, in terms of substances that may worsen symptoms (i.e., anticholinergic and certain neuroleptic medications) and those that may improve them (i.e., cholinesterase inhibitors, carbidopa-levodopa). Neurocognitive patterns, psychiatric features, extrapyramidal signs and sleep disturbance are helpful in differentiating DLB from AD early in the disease course. Differences in the severity of cholinergic depletion as well as type and distribution of neuropathology contribute to these clinical differences, though DLB patients with a high density of co-occuring AD pathology are less clinical distinguishable from AD.
Lewy bodies; dementia; parkinsonism; hallucinations; fluctuations
Mutations in progranulin (PGRN) are associated with frontotemporal dementia with or without parkinsonism. We describe the prominent phenotypic variability within and among eight kindreds evaluated at Mayo Clinic Rochester and/or Mayo Clinic Jacksonville in whom mutations in PGRN were found. All available clinical, genetic, neuroimaging and neuropathologic data was reviewed. Age of onset ranged from 49 to 88 years and disease duration ranged from 1 to 14 years. Clinical diagnoses included frontotemporal dementia (FTD), primary progressive aphasia, FTD with parkinsonism, parkinsonism, corticobasal syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, amnestic mild cognitive impairment, and others. One kindred exhibited maximal right cerebral hemispheric atrophy in all four affected individuals, while another had maximal left hemisphere involvement in all three of the affected. Neuropathologic examination of 13 subjects revealed frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin-positive inclusions plus neuronal intranuclear inclusions in all cases. Age of onset, clinical phenotypes and MRI findings associated with most PGRN mutations varied significantly both within and among kindreds. Some kindreds with PGRN mutations exhibited lateralized topography of degeneration across all affected individuals.
Frontotemporal dementia; FTDP-17; Progranulin; PGRN; MRI
Mutations in the progranulin gene (PGRN) have recently been identified as a cause of frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin-positive inclusions (FTLD-U) in some families.
To determine whether there is a difference in the patterns of atrophy in cases with FTLD-U with and without a mutation in PGRN.
Case control study
Brain bank of a tertiary care medical center
All subjects that had screened positive for mutations in PGRN and had a volumetric MRI were identified (n=8, PGRN (+)). Subjects were then matched by clinical diagnosis to a group of eight subjects with a pathological diagnosis of FTLD-U that had screened negative for mutations in PGRN (PGRN (−)). All subjects were then age and gender-matched to a control subject.
Main outcome Measures
Voxel-based morphometry was used to assess the patterns of grey matter atrophy in the PGRN (+) and (−) groups compared to controls, and compared to each other.
The PGRN (+) group showed a widespread and severe pattern of grey matter loss predominantly affecting the frontal, temporal and parietal lobes. In comparison, the PGRN (−) group showed a less severe pattern of loss restricted mainly to the temporal and frontal lobes. On direct comparison the PGRN (+) group showed greater loss in the frontal and parietal lobes compared to the PGRN (−) group.
This study suggests that PGRN mutations may be associated with a specific and severe pattern of cerebral atrophy in subjects with FTLD-U.
Frontotemporal dementia; Voxel-based morphometry; Ubiquitin; Dentate; Progranulin
Neurodegenerative disorders are pathologically characterized by the deposition of abnormal proteins in the brain. It is likely that future treatment trials will target the underlying protein biochemistry and it is therefore increasingly important to be able to distinguish between different pathologies during life. The aim of this study was to determine whether rates of brain atrophy differ in neurodegenerative dementias that vary by pathological diagnoses and characteristic protein biochemistry. Fifty-six autopsied subjects were identified with a clinical diagnosis of dementia and two serial head MRI. Subjects were subdivided based on pathological diagnoses into Alzheimer's disease (AD), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), mixed AD/DLB, frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin-only-immunoreactive changes (FTLD-U), corticobasal degeneration (CBD) and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). Twenty-five controls were matched by age, gender, and scan interval, to the study cohort. The boundary-shift integral was used to calculate change over time in whole brain (BBSI) and ventricular volume (VBSI). All BSI results were annualized by adjusting for scan interval. The rates of whole brain atrophy and ventricular expansion were significantly increased compared to controls in the AD, mixed AD/DLB, FTLD-U, CBD and PSP groups. However, atrophy rates in the DLB group were not significantly different from control rates of atrophy. The largest rates of atrophy were observed in the CBD group which had a BBSI of 2.3% and VBSI of 16.2%. The CBD group had significantly greater rates of BBSI and VBSI than the DLB, mixed AD/DLB, AD and PSP groups, with a similar trend observed when compared to the FTLD-U group. The FTLD-U group showed the next largest rates with a BBSI of 1.7% and VBSI of 9.6% which were both significantly greater than the DLB group. There was no significant difference in the rates of atrophy between the AD, mixed AD/DLB and PSP groups, which all showed similar rates of atrophy; BBSI of 1.1, 1.3 and 1.0% and VBSI of 8.3, 7.2 and 10.9% respectively. Rates of atrophy therefore differ according to the pathological diagnoses and underlying protein biochemistry. While rates are unlikely to be useful in differentiating AD from cases with mixed AD/DLB pathology, they demonstrate important pathophysiological differences between DLB and those with mixed AD/DLB and AD pathology, and between those with CBD and PSP pathology.
magnetic resonance imaging; Alzheimer's disease; dementia with Lewy bodies; frontotemporal lobar degeneration; progressive supranuclear palsy
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI), particularly the amnestic subtype (aMCI), is considered as a transitional stage between normal aging and a diagnosis of clinically probable Alzheimer's disease (AD). The aMCI construct is particularly useful as it provides an opportunity to assess a clinical stage which in most subjects represents prodromal AD. The aim of this study was to assess the progression of cerebral atrophy over multiple serial MRI during the period from aMCI to conversion to AD. Thirty-three subjects were selected that fulfilled clinical criteria for aMCI and had three serial MRI scans: the first scan approximately three years before conversion to AD, the second scan approximately one year before conversion, and the third scan at the time of conversion from aMCI to AD. A group of 33 healthy controls were age and gender-matched to the study cohort. Voxel-based morphometry (VBM) was used to assess patterns of grey matter atrophy in the aMCI subjects at each time-point compared to the control group. Customized templates and prior probability maps were used to avoid normalization and segmentation bias. The pattern of grey matter loss in the aMCI subject scans that were three years before conversion was focused primarily on the medial temporal lobes, including the amygdala, anterior hippocampus and entorhinal cortex, with some additional involvement of the fusiform gyrus, compared to controls. The extent and magnitude of the cerebral atrophy further progressed by the time the subjects were one year before conversion. At this point atrophy in the temporal lobes spread to include the middle temporal gyrus, and extended into more posterior regions of the temporal lobe to include the entire extent of the hippocampus. The parietal lobe also started to become involved. By the time the subjects had converted to a clinical diagnosis of AD the pattern of grey matter atrophy had become still more widespread with more severe involvement of the medial temporal lobes and the temporoparietal association cortices and, for the first time, substantial involvement of the frontal lobes. This pattern of progression fits well with the Braak and Braak neurofibrillary pathological staging scheme in AD. It suggests that the earliest changes occur in the anterior medial temporal lobe and fusiform gyrus, and that these changes occur at least three years before conversion to AD. These results also suggest that 3-dimensional patterns of grey matter atrophy may help to predict the time to conversion in subjects with aMCI.
Alzheimer's disease; mild cognitive impairment; longitudinal; magnetic resonance imaging; voxel-based morphometry
To investigate patterns of cerebral atrophy associated with specific subtypes of mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
Community-based sample at a tertiary referral center
One hundred and forty-five subjects with MCI subjects and 145 age and gender-matched cognitively normal controls. MCI subjects were classified as amnestic single cognitive domain, amnestic multi-domain, non-amnestic single-domain and non-amnestic multi-domain MCI. The non-amnestic single-domain subjects were also divided into language, attention/executive, and visuospatial groups based on the specific cognitive impairment.
Main Outcome Measure
Patterns of grey matter loss in the MCI groups compared to controls assessed using voxel-based morphometry
The amnestic single and multi-domain groups both showed loss in the medial and inferior temporal lobes compared to controls, while the multi-domain group also showed involvement of the posterior temporal lobe, parietal association cortex and posterior cingulate. The non-amnestic single-domain subjects with language impairment showed loss in the left anterior inferior temporal lobe. The group with attention/executive deficits showed loss in the basal forebrain and hypothalamus. No coherent patterns of loss were observed in the other subgroups.
The pattern of atrophy in the amnestic groups is consistent with the concept that MCI in most of these subjects represents prodromal AD. However, the different patterns in the language and attention/executive groups suggest that these subjects may have a different underlying disorder.
We tested if rates of brain atrophy accelerate in individuals with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) as they progress to typical late onset Alzheimer's Disease (AD). We included comparisons to aMCI subjects who did not progress (labeled aMCI-S) and also to cognitively normal elderly subjects (CN).
We studied 46 aMCI subjects who progressed to AD (labeled aMCI-P), 46 CN, and 23 aMCI-S. All subjects must have had three or more serial MRI scans. Rates of brain shrinkage and ventricular expansion were measured across all available serial MRI scans in each subject. Change in volumes relative to the point at which subjects progressed to a clinical diagnosis of AD (the index date) was modeled in aMCI-P. Change in volumes relative to age was modeled in all three clinical groups.
In aMCI-P the change in pre to post index rate (i.e. acceleration) of ventricular expansion was 1.7 cm3/yr, and acceleration in brain shrinkage was 5.3 cm3/yr. Brain volume declined and ventricular volume increased in all three groups with age. Volume changes decelerated with increasing age in aMCI-P, and to a lesser extent aMCI-S, but were linear in the matched CN. Among all aMCI subjects, rates of atrophy were greater in apolipoprotein E ε4 carriers than non-carriers.
Rates of atrophy accelerate as individuals progress from aMCI to typical late onset AD. Rates of atrophy are greater in younger than older aMCI-P and aMCI-S subjects. We did not find that atrophy rates varied with age in 70 – 90 year old CN subjects.
To compare the patterns of grey matter loss in subjects with amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment (aMCI) who progress to Alzheimer's disease within a fixed clinical follow-up time versus those who remain stable.
Twenty-one aMCI subjects were identified from the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer's research program that remained clinically stable for their entire observed clinical course (aMCI-S), where the minimum required follow-up time from MRI to last follow-up assessment was three years. These subjects were age and gender-matched to 42 aMCI subjects who progressed to AD within 18 months of the MRI (aMCI-P). Each subject was then age and gender-matched to a control subject. Voxel-based morphometry (VBM) was used to assess patterns of grey matter atrophy in the aMCI-P and aMCI-S groups compared to the control group, and compared to each other.
The aMCI-P group showed bilateral loss affecting the medial and inferior temporal lobe, temporoparietal association neocortex and frontal lobes, compared to controls. The aMCI-S group showed no regions of grey matter loss when compared to controls. When the aMCI-P and aMCI-S groups were compared directly, the aMCI-P group showed greater loss in the medial and inferior temporal lobes, the temporoparietal neocortex, posterior cingulate, precuneus, anterior cingulate, and frontal lobes than the aMCI-S group.
The regions of loss observed in aMCI-P are typical of subjects with AD. The lack of grey matter loss in the aMCI-S subjects is consistent with the notion that patterns of atrophy on MRI at baseline map well onto the subsequent clinical course.
Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) is the second most common cause of degenerative dementia after Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, unlike in AD the patterns of cerebral atrophy associated with DLB have not been well established. The aim of this study was to identify a signature pattern of cerebral atrophy in DLB and to compare it to the pattern found in AD. Seventy-two patients that fulfilled clinical criteria for probable DLB were age and gender-matched to 72 patients with probable AD and 72 controls. Voxel-based morphometry (VBM) was used to assess patterns of grey matter atrophy in the DLB and AD groups, relative to controls, after correction for multiple comparisons (p<0.05). Study specific templates and prior probability maps were used to avoid normalization and segmentation bias. Region-of-interest (ROI) analyses were also performed comparing loss of the midbrain, substantia innominata (SI), temporoparietal cortex and hippocampus between the groups. The DLB group showed very little cortical involvement on VBM with regional grey matter loss observed primarily in the dorsal midbrain, SI and hypothalamus. In comparison, the AD group showed a widespread pattern of grey matter loss involving the temporoparietal association cortices and the medial temporal lobes. The SI and dorsal midbrain were involved in AD however they were not identified as a cluster of loss discrete from uninvolved surrounding areas, as observed in the DLB group. On direct comparison between the two groups, the AD group showed greater loss in the medial temporal lobe and inferior temporal regions than the DLB group. The ROI analysis showed reduced SI and midbrain grey matter in both the AD and DLB groups. The SI grey matter was reduced more in AD than DLB, yet the midbrain was reduced more in DLB than AD. The hippocampus and temporoparietal cortex showed significantly greater loss in the AD group compared to the DLB group. A pattern of relatively focused atrophy of the midbrain, hypothalamus and SI, with a relative sparing of the hippocampus and temporoparietal cortex, is therefore suggestive of DLB and may aid in the differentiation of DLB from AD. These findings support recent pathological studies showing an ascending pattern of Lewy Body progression from brainstem to basal areas of the brain. Damage to this network of structures in DLB may affect a number of different neurotransmitter systems which in turn may contribute to a number of the core clinical features of DLB.
Dementia with Lewy Bodies; Alzheimer's disease; voxel-based morphometry; magnetic resonance imaging; neurotransmitter systems
Progressive supranuclear palsy; corticobasal degeneration; neuropsychology; pathology; atypical
To develop and validate a tool for Alzheimer's disease (AD) diagnosis in individual subjects using support vector machine (SVM) based classification of structural MR (sMR) images.
Libraries of sMR scans of clinically well characterized subjects can be harnessed for the purpose of diagnosing new incoming subjects.
190 patients with probable AD were age- and gender-matched with 190 cognitively normal (CN) subjects. Three different classification models were implemented: Model I uses tissue densities obtained from sMR scans to give STructural Abnormality iNDex (STAND)-score; and Models II and III use tissue densities as well as covariates (demographics and Apolipoprotein E genotype) to give adjusted-STAND (aSTAND)-score. Data from 140 AD and 140 CN were used for training. The SVM parameter optimization and training was done by four-fold cross validation. The remaining independent sample of 50 AD and 50 CN were used to obtain a minimally biased estimate of the generalization error of the algorithm.
The CV accuracy of Model II and Model III aSTAND-scores was 88.5% and 89.3% respectively and the developed models generalized well on the independent test datasets. Anatomic patterns best differentiating the groups were consistent with the known distribution of neurofibrillary AD pathology.
This paper presents preliminary evidence that application of SVM-based classification of an individual sMR scan relative to a library of scans can provide useful information in individual subjects for diagnosis of AD. Including demographic and genetic information in the classification algorithm slightly improves diagnostic accuracy.
support vector machines; classification; diagnosis; Alzheimer's
Rates of brain loss have been shown to accelerate over time in early Alzheimer’s disease (AD); however the trajectory of change in frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin immunoreactive-changes (FTLD-U) is unknown. This study compared the progression of atrophy over multiple MRI in subjects with autopsy confirmed AD and FTLD-U. Nine subjects with autopsy confirmed FTLD-U, and nine with autopsy confirmed AD, were identified that had three or more serial MRI. The boundary-shift integral was used to calculate change over time in whole brain and ventricular volume. A hierarchical regression model was used to estimate the slope of volume change in AD and FTLD-U over time and to estimate differences in the slopes across the subject groups. Whole brain volume loss did not deviate from a linear rate over time in both AD and FTLD-U subjects, although this may be due to limited sample size. The FTLD-U subjects had a faster rate (23ml/yr) than the AD subjects (10ml/yr). The rate of ventricular expansion accelerated over time. At the point when each subject had a Clinical Dementia Rating Sum-of-Boxes score of 6 the annual rate was 7ml/yr in FTLD-U and 5ml/yr in AD. These rates of change increased by an estimated 1.66ml/yr in FTLD-U, and 0.44ml/yr in AD, although these estimates were not significantly different between the two groups. The trajectory of brain and ventricular changes were similar in AD and FTLD-U suggesting that it is independent of pathology, although subjects with FTLD-U show a more rapidly progressive decline.