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Structural MRI signatures in genetic presentations of the FTD/MND spectrum

Citation

Agosta, Federica (2021), Structural MRI signatures in genetic presentations of the FTD/MND spectrum , Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.1vhhmgqsz

Abstract

Objective: To assess cortical, subcortical and cerebellar grey matter (GM) atrophy using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in patients with disorders of the frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) spectrum with known genetic mutations.

Methods: Sixty-six patients carrying FTLD-related mutations were enrolled, including 44 with pure motor neuron disease (MND) and 22 with frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Sixty-one patients with sporadic FTLD (sFTLD) matched for age, sex and disease severity with genetic FTLD (gFTLD) were also included, as well as 52 healthy controls. A whole-brain voxel-based morphometry (VBM) analysis was performed. GM volumes of subcortical and cerebellar structures were obtained.

Results: Compared with controls, GM atrophy on VBM was greater and more diffuse in genetic FTD, followed by sporadic FTD and genetic MND cases, whereas sporadic MND (sMND) patients showed focal motor cortical atrophy. Patients carrying C9orf72 and GRN mutations showed the most widespread cortical volume loss, in contrast with GM sparing in SOD1 and TARDBP. Globally, gFTLD patients showed greater atrophy of parietal cortices and thalami compared with sFTLD. In volumetric analysis, gFTLD patients showed volume loss compared with sFTLD in the caudate nuclei and thalami, in particular comparing C9-MND with sMND cases. In the cerebellum, gFTLD patients showed greater atrophy of the right lobule VIIb than sFTLD. Thalamic volumes of gFTLD patients with a C9orf72 mutation showed an inverse correlation with Frontal Behavioral Inventory scores.

Conclusions: Measures of deep GM and cerebellar structural involvement may be useful markers of gFTLD, particularly C9orf72-related disorders, regardless the clinical presentation within the FTLD spectrum.

Funding

Italian Ministry of Health, Award: RF-2011-02351193

European Research Council, Award: StG-2016_714388_NeuroTRACK

Italian Ministry of Health, Award: GR-2011-02351217

Italian Ministry of Health, Award: GR-2013-02357415

Italian Ministry of Health, Award: RF-2011-02351193