Frontotemporal lobar degeneration: Current knowledge and future challenges

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Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) is one of the most frequent neurodegenerative disorders with a presenile onset. It presents with a spectrum of clinical manifestations, ranging from behavioral and executive impairment to language disorders and motor dysfunction. New diagnostic criteria identified two main cognitive syndromes: behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) and primary progressive aphasia. Regarding bvFTD, new criteria include the use of biomarkers. According to them, bvFTD can be classified in "possible" (clinical features only), "probable" (inclusion of imaging biomarkers) and "definite" (in the presence of a known causal mutation or at autopsy). Familial aggregation is frequently reported in FTLD, and about 10 % of cases have an autosomal dominant transmission. Microtubule-associ-ated protein tau gene mutations have been the first ones identified, and are generally associated with early onset (40-50 years) and with the bvFTD phenotype. More recently, progranulin gene mutations were recognized in association with the familial form of FTLD and a hexa-nucleotide repetition in C9ORF72 has been shown to be responsible for familial FTLD and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In addition, other genes are linked to rare cases of familiar FTLD. Lastly, a number of genetic risk factors for sporadic forms have also been identified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2278-2286
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neurology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012


  • C9ORF72
  • Frontotemporal lobar degeneration
  • Genetics
  • Progranulin (GRN)
  • Risk factor
  • Tau

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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