Subcortical and deep cortical atrophy in Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration

Valentina Garibotto, Barbara Borroni, Chiara Agosti, Enrico Premi, Antonella Alberici, Simon B. Eickhoff, Simona M. Brambati, Giuseppe Bellelli, Roberto Gasparotti, Daniela Perani, Alessandro Padovani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Though neuroimaging, pathology and pathophysiology suggest a subcortical and deep cortical involvement in Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration (FTLD), no studies have comprehensively assessed the associated gray matter (GM) volume changes. We measured caudate, putamen, thalamus, and amygdala GM volume using probabilistic a-priori regions of interest (ROIs) in 53 early FTLD patients (38 behavioral variant FTD [bvFTD], 9 Semantic Dementia [SD], 6 Progressive Non-Fluent Aphasia [PNFA]), and 25 age-matched healthy controls (HC). ANOVA showed significant (P<0.001) main effect of diagnosis, and significant interactions for diagnosis and region, and diagnosis and hemisphere. Post-hoc comparisons with HC showed bilateral GM atrophy in the caudate, putamen and thalamus, in bvFTD; a left-confined GM reduction in the amygdala in SD; and bilateral GM atrophy in the caudate and thalamus, and left-sided GM reduction in the putamen and amygdala in PNFA. Correlation analyses suggested an association between GM volumes and language, psychomotor speed and behavioral disturbances. This study showed a widespread involvement of subcortical and deep cortical GM in early FTLD with patterns specific for clinical entity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)875-884
Number of pages10
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2011


  • Basal ganglia
  • Behavioral variant Frontotemporal Dementia
  • Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration
  • Probabilistic atlases
  • Progressive Non-Fluent Aphasia
  • Semantic Dementia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Ageing
  • Developmental Biology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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