Author(s): Kril JJ, Macdonald V, Patel S, Png F, Halliday GM
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Abstract Marked brain atrophy occurs in frontotemporal dementia (FTD) yet substantial variation between cases is seen. Recently, a four-level staging scheme which reflects increasing disease duration, severity of dementia and degree of neurodegeneration was described. In the present study, the extent and magnitude of atrophy in behavioral variant FTD and its relationship to disease duration and pathological subtype was further evaluated by quantifying the volume of 30 anatomically-defined regions. A validated point count technique was applied to 17 patients with FTD (9 Pick's disease, 6 dementia lacking distinctive histology, 2 FTD with motor neuron disease) and 21 controls. Atrophy was seen in all brain regions except the inferior frontal cortex and area 37. As might be expected, increasing severity of atrophy occurred with increasing disease duration and stage however measurable atrophy was more widespread than indicated by the staging scheme. Furthermore, severity of atrophy was not related to pathological subtype. Frontal, limbic and temporal regions appeared to be severely affected early in the disease process with temporal lobe atrophy the best predictor of disease duration. White matter, more posterior regions and the subcortex were affected later in the disease. These findings demonstrate a pattern of selective vulnerability which progresses over time. Furthermore, they demonstrate that although patients with a similar clinical subtype may have differing underlying histopathology, the pattern, severity and progression of brain atrophy is the same. This suggests that the regional pattern of neurodegeneration, rather than the type of histopathology influences the clinical syndrome in FTD.
This article was published in J Neurol Sci
and referenced in Mass Spectrometry & Purification Techniques