Perfusion alterations converge with patterns of pathological spread in transactive response DNA-binding protein 43 proteinopathies

PM Ferraro, C Jester, CA Olm, K Placek, F Agosta, L Elman, L McCluskey, DJ Irwin, JA Detre, M Filippi, M Grossman, CT McMillan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and the behavioral variant of frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) commonly share the presence of transactive response DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) inclusions. Structural magnetic resonance imaging studies demonstrated evidence for TDP-43 pathology spread, but while structural imaging usually reveals overt neuronal loss, perfusion imaging may detect more subtle neural activity alterations. We evaluated perfusion as an early marker for incipient pathology–associated brain alterations in TDP-43 proteinopathies. Cortical thickness (CT) and perfusion measurements were obtained in ALS (N = 18), pathologically and/or genetically confirmed bvFTD-TDP (N = 12), and healthy controls (N = 33). bvFTD showed reduced frontotemporal CT, hypoperfusion encompassing orbitofrontal and temporal cortices, and hyperperfusion in motor and occipital regions. ALS did not show reduced CT, but exhibited hypoperfusion in motor and temporal regions, and hyperperfusion in frontal and occipital cortices. Frontotemporal hypoperfusion and reduced CT correlated with cognitive and behavioral impairments as investigated using Mini-Mental State Examination and Philadelphia Brief Assessment of Cognition in bvFTD, and hypoperfusion in motor regions correlated with motor disability as measured by the ALS Functional Rating Scale-Revised in ALS. Hypoperfusion marked early pathologically involved regions, while hyperperfusion characterized regions of late pathological involvement. Distinct perfusion patterns may provide early markers of pathology distribution in TDP-43 proteinopathies. © 2018 Elsevier Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-92
Number of pages8
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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