[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An increasing number of MRI investigations suggest that patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) show not only gray matter decreases but also white matter (WM) abnormalities, including WM volume (WMV) deficits and integrity disruption of WM pathways. In this study, we applied multimodal voxel-wise meta-analytical methods to study WMV and fractional anisotropy in AD. Fourteen studies including 723 participants (340 with AD and 383 controls) were involved. The meta-analysis was performed using effect size signed differential mapping. Significant WMV reductions were observed in bilateral inferior temporal gyrus, splenium of corpus callosum, right parahippocampal gyrus, and hippocampus. Decreased fractional anisotropy was identified mainly in left posterior limb of internal capsule, left anterior corona radiata, left thalamus, and left caudate nucleus. Significant decreases of both WMV and fractional anisotropy were found in left caudate nucleus, left superior corona radiata, and right inferior temporal gyrus. Most findings showed to be highly replicable in the jackknife sensitivity analyses. In conclusion, AD patients show widespread WM abnormalities mainly in bilateral structures related to advanced mental and nervous activities.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Crossed aphasia has been reported mainly as post-stroke aphasia resulting from brain damage ipsilateral to the dominant right hand. Here, we described a case of a crossed nonfluent/agrammatic primary progressive aphasia (nfvPPA), who developed a corticobasal syndrome (CBS). We collected clinical, cognitive, and neuroimaging data for four consecutive years from a 55-year-old right-handed lady (JV) presenting with speech disturbances. 18-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography ((18)F-FDG PET) and DaT-scan with (123)I-Ioflupane were obtained. Functional MRI (fMRI) during a verb naming task was acquired to characterize patterns of language lateralization. Diffusion tensor MRI was used to evaluate white matter damage within the language network. At onset, JV presented with prominent speech output impairment and right frontal atrophy. After 3 years, language deficits worsened, with the occurrence of a mild agrammatism. The patient also developed a left-sided mild extrapyramidal bradykinetic-rigid syndrome. The clinical picture was suggestive of nfvPPA with mild left-sided extrapyramidal syndrome. At this time, voxel-wise SPM analyses of (18)F-FDG PET and structural MRI showed right greater than left frontal hypometabolism and damage, which included the Broca's area. DaT-scan showed a reduced uptake in the right striatum. FMRI during naming task demonstrated bilateral language activations, and tractography showed right superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF) involvement. Over the following year, JV became mute and developed frank left-sided motor signs and symptoms, evolving into a CBS clinical picture. Brain atrophy worsened in frontal areas bilaterally, and extended to temporo-parietal regions, still with a right-sided asymmetry. Tractography showed an extension of damage to the left SLF and right inferior longitudinal fasciculus. We report a case of crossed nfvPPA followed longitudinally and studied with advanced neuroimaging techniques. The results highlight a complex interaction between individual premorbid developmental differences and the clinical phenotype.
Journal of Neurology 07/2015; DOI:10.1007/s00415-015-7845-x · 3.38 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The term early-onset Alzheimer's disease (EOAD) identifies patients who meet criteria for AD, but show onset of symptoms before the age of 65. We map progression of gray matter atrophy in EOAD patients compared to late-onset AD (LOAD). T1-weighted MRI scans were obtained at diagnosis and one-year follow-up from 15 EOAD, 10 LOAD, and 38 age-matched controls. Voxel-based and tensor-based morphometry were used, respectively, to assess the baseline and progression of atrophy. At baseline, EOAD patients already showed a widespread atrophy in temporal, parietal, occipital, and frontal cortices. After one year, EOAD had atrophy progression in medial temporal and medial parietal cortices. At baseline, LOAD patients showed atrophy in the medial temporal regions only, and, after one year, an extensive pattern of atrophy progression in the same neocortical cortices of EOAD. Although atrophy mainly involved different lateral neocortical or medial temporal hubs at baseline, it eventually progressed along the same brain default-network regions in both groups. The cortical region showing a significant progression in both groups was the medial precuneus/posterior cingulate.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The present study investigated the pattern of longitudinal changes in cognition and anatomy in three variants of primary progressive aphasia (PPA). Eight patients with the non-fluent variant of PPA (nfvPPA), 13 patients with the semantic variant (svPPA), seven patients with the logopenic variant (lvPPA), and 29 age-matched, neurologically healthy controls were included in the study. All participants underwent longitudinal MRI, neuropsychological and language testing at baseline and at a 1-year follow-up. Tenser-based morphometry (TBM) was applied to T1-weighted MRI images in order to map the progression of gray and white matter atrophy over a 1-year period. Results showed that each patient group was characterized by a specific pattern of cognitive and anatomical changes. Specifically, nfvPPA patients showed gray matter atrophy progression in the left frontal and subcortical areas as well as a decline in motor speech and executive functions; svPPA patients presented atrophy progression in the medial and lateral temporal lobe and decline in semantic memory abilities; and lvPPA patients showed atrophy progression in lateral/posterior temporal and medial parietal regions with a decline in memory, sentence repetition and calculations. In addition, in all three variants, the white matter fibers underlying the abovementioned cortical areas underwent significant volume contraction over a 1-year period.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inflectional morphology lies at the intersection of phonology, syntax and the lexicon, three language domains that are differentially impacted in the three main variants of primary progressive aphasia (PPA). To characterize spared and impaired aspects of inflectional morphology in PPA, we elicited inflectional morphemes in 48 individuals with PPA and 13 healthy age-matched controls. We varied the factors of regularity, frequency, word class, and lexicality, and used voxel-based morphometry to identify brain regions where atrophy was predictive of deficits on particular conditions. All three PPA variants showed deficits in inflectional morphology, with the specific nature of the deficits dependent on the anatomical and linguistic features of each variant. Deficits in inflecting low-frequency irregular words were associated with semantic PPA, with lexical/semantic deficits, and with left temporal atrophy. Deficits in inflecting pseudowords were associated with non-fluent/agrammatic and logopenic variants, with phonological deficits, and with left frontal and parietal atrophy.
Brain and Language 09/2014; 136:58–68. DOI:10.1016/j.bandl.2014.07.001 · 3.22 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Surface dyslexia is one of the hallmark features of the semantic variant primary progressive aphasia (svPPA). Surface dyslexia is characterized as a selective impairment in reading words with exceptional spelling-to-sound correspondences (irregular words), where they are ‘over-generalized’ and pronounced as they are spelled (e.g., ‘sew’ pronounced ‘sue’). The impairments in svPPA are coupled with atrophy of the anterior temporal lobes (ATLs). While usually bilateral, atrophy is asymmetric and two variants are observed, one with predominantly left (L-svPPA) and the other with predominantly right atrophy (R-svPPA). Prior studies report some differences in the neuropsychological profile of these subgroups, most notably a more profound naming impairment in L-svPPA and a greater deficit in retrieving person-specific information in R-svPPA. We report the first comparison of reading performance. We investigated single word reading in 21 svPPA patients with left-predominant ATL atrophy, 12 with right-predominant atrophy and 14 healthy participants. Reading was assessed using the ‘Regularity’ and ‘Nonwords’ reading subtests of the Psycholinguistic Assessments of Language Processing in Aphasia battery (30 regular and 30 irregular words matched for frequency, imageability and word length, and 24 nonwords) or the Arizona Battery for Reading and Spelling (40 regular, 40 irregular words and 20 nonwords matched for word length). Object naming, repetition, syntax comprehension, pyramids and palm trees (PPT) test performance and visuospatial and executive function were also evaluated. Voxel-based morphometry was used to map differences in the distribution of ATL atrophy and identify a more precise locus of the grey matter correlate of exception word reading. Both svPPA groups exhibited a surface dyslexic profile, with relatively preserved regular word reading (96.5% and 97.8% accuracy, respectively) and impaired irregular word reading (74% and 85.5%). The discrepancy in reading irregular versus regular words (regularity effect), however, was almost two times greater in the L-svPPA group (22.5) than the R-svPPA group (12.2). The two svPPA groups performed equally in nonword reading (87%). Linear regression on all patients revealed that solely the word version of the PPT (not the picture version, repetition nor syntax comprehension) was a significant predictor of the regularity effect, suggesting that exception word reading ability is correlated with integrity of a verbal semantic system. Neuroimaging revealed that the distribution of ATL atrophy was relatively more symmetric in R-svPPA. However, there was a greater disparity in the extent of volume loss in lateral left ATL regions than in the basal left ATL (more atrophied in L-svPPA) and this lateral volume correlated with magnitude of the regularity effect. The selective impairment in reading irregularly spelled words in svPPA is greater in magnitude when the ATL atrophy is greater in the left than the right hemisphere. Moreover, the degree of impairment appears to be correlated particularly with the amount of atrophy in the lateral aspects of the left ATL. We hypothesize that the role of the lateral left ATL in irregular word reading is related to representations subserving lexical-semantics and that the lateralization of this role is due to proximity of these regions to the left lateralized speech production network.
Society For the Neurobiology of Language, Amsterdam, Netherlands; 08/2014
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In primary progressive aphasia (PPA), speech and language difficulties are caused by neurodegeneration of specific brain networks. In the nonfluent/agrammatic variant (nfvPPA), motor speech and grammatical deficits are associated with atrophy in a left fronto-insular-striatal network previously implicated in speech production. In vivo dissection of the crossing white matter (WM) tracts within this "speech production network" is complex and has rarely been performed in health or in PPA. We hypothesized that damage to these tracts would be specific to nfvPPA and would correlate with differential aspects of the patients' fluency abilities. We prospectively studied 25 PPA and 21 healthy individuals who underwent extensive cognitive testing and 3 T MRI. Using residual bootstrap Q-ball probabilistic tractography on high angular resolution diffusion-weighted imaging (HARDI), we reconstructed pathways connecting posterior inferior frontal, inferior premotor, insula, supplementary motor area (SMA) complex, striatum, and standard ventral and dorsal language pathways. We extracted tract-specific diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) metrics to assess changes across PPA variants and perform brain-behavioral correlations. Significant WM changes in the left intrafrontal and frontostriatal pathways were found in nfvPPA, but not in the semantic or logopenic variants. Correlations between tract-specific DTI metrics with cognitive scores confirmed the specific involvement of this anterior-dorsal network in fluency and suggested a preferential role of a posterior premotor-SMA pathway in motor speech. This study shows that left WM pathways connecting the speech production network are selectively damaged in nfvPPA and suggests that different tracts within this system are involved in subcomponents of fluency. These findings emphasize the emerging role of diffusion imaging in the differential diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases.
The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience 07/2014; 34(29):9754-67. DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3464-13.2014 · 6.34 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To identify early cognitive and neuroimaging features of sporadic nonfluent/agrammatic variant of primary progressive aphasia (nfvPPA) caused by frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) subtypes.
We prospectively collected clinical, neuroimaging, and neuropathologic data in 11 patients with sporadic nfvPPA with FTLD-tau (nfvPPA-tau, n = 9) or FTLD-transactive response DNA binding protein pathology of 43 kD type A (nfvPPA-TDP, n = 2). We analyzed patterns of cognitive and gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM) atrophy at presentation in the whole group and in each pathologic subtype separately. We also considered longitudinal clinical data.
At first evaluation, regardless of pathologic FTLD subtype, apraxia of speech (AOS) was the most common cognitive feature and atrophy involved the left posterior frontal lobe. Each pathologic subtype showed few distinctive features. At presentation, patients with nfvPPA-tau presented with mild to moderate AOS, mixed dysarthria with prominent hypokinetic features, clear agrammatism, and atrophy in the GM of the left posterior frontal regions and in left frontal WM. While speech and language deficits were prominent early, within 3 years of symptom onset, all patients with nfvPPA-tau developed significant extrapyramidal motor signs. At presentation, patients with nfvPPA-TDP had severe AOS, dysarthria with spastic features, mild agrammatism, and atrophy in left posterior frontal GM only. Selective mutism occurred early, when general neurologic examination only showed mild decrease in finger dexterity in the right hand.
Clinical features in sporadic nfvPPA caused by FTLD subtypes relate to neurodegeneration of GM and WM in frontal motor speech and language networks. We propose that early WM atrophy in nfvPPA is suggestive of FTLD-tau pathology while early selective GM loss might be indicative of FTLD-TDP.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neuroimaging and neuropsychological studies have implicated the anterior temporal lobe (ATL) in sentence-level processing, with syntactic structure-building and/or combinatorial semantic processing suggested as possible roles. A potential challenge to the view that the ATL is involved in syntactic aspects of sentence processing comes from the clinical syndrome of semantic variant primary progressive aphasia (semantic PPA; also known as semantic dementia). In semantic PPA, bilateral neurodegeneration of the ATLs is associated with profound lexical semantic deficits, yet syntax is strikingly spared. The goal of this study was to investigate the neural correlates of syntactic processing in semantic PPA to determine which regions normally involved in syntactic processing are damaged in semantic PPA and whether spared syntactic processing depends on preserved functionality of intact regions, preserved functionality of atrophic regions, or compensatory functional reorganization. We scanned 20 individuals with semantic PPA and 24 age-matched controls using structural MTI and fMRI. Participants performed a sentence comprehension task that emphasized syntactic processing and minimized lexical semantic demands. We found that, in controls, left inferior frontal and left posterior temporal regions were modulated by syntactic processing, whereas anterior temporal regions were not significantly modulated. In the semantic PPA group, atrophy was most severe in the ATLs but extended to the posterior temporal regions involved in syntactic processing. Functional activity for syntactic processing was broadly similar in patients and controls; in particular, whole-brain analyses revealed no significant differences between patients and controls in the regions modulated by syntactic processing. The atrophic left ATL did show abnormal functionality in semantic PPA patients; however, this took the unexpected form of a failure to deactivate. Taken together, our findings indicate that spared syntactic processing in semantic PPA depends on preserved functionality of structurally intact left frontal regions and moderately atrophic left posterior temporal regions, but no functional reorganization was apparent as a consequence of anterior temporal atrophy and dysfunction. These results suggest that the role of the ATL in sentence processing is less likely to relate to syntactic structure-building and more likely to relate to higher-level processes such as combinatorial semantic processing.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The neural organization of semantic memory remains much debated. A 'distributed-only' view contends that semantic knowledge is represented within spatially distant, modality-selective primary and association cortices. Observations in semantic variant primary progressive aphasia have inspired an alternative model featuring the anterior temporal lobe as an amodal hub that supports semantic knowledge by linking distributed modality-selective regions. Direct evidence has been lacking, however, to support intrinsic functional interactions between an anterior temporal lobe hub and upstream sensory regions in humans. Here, we examined the neural networks supporting semantic knowledge by performing a multimodal brain imaging study in healthy subjects and patients with semantic variant primary progressive aphasia. In healthy subjects, the anterior temporal lobe showed intrinsic connectivity to an array of modality-selective primary and association cortices. Patients showed focal anterior temporal lobe degeneration but also reduced physiological integrity throughout distributed modality-selective regions connected with the anterior temporal lobe in healthy controls. Physiological deficits outside the anterior temporal lobe correlated with scores on semantic tasks and with anterior temporal subregion atrophy, following domain-specific and connectivity-based predictions. The findings provide a neurophysiological basis for the theory that semantic processing is orchestrated through interactions between a critical anterior temporal lobe hub and modality-selective processing nodes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Primary progressive aphasia is a neurodegenerative clinical syndrome that presents in adulthood with an isolated, progressive language disorder. Three main clinical/anatomical variants have been described, each associated with distinctive pathology. A high frequency of neurodevelopmental learning disability in primary progressive aphasia has been reported. Because the disorder is heterogeneous with different patterns of cognitive, anatomical and biological involvement, we sought to identify whether learning disability had a predilection for one or more of the primary progressive aphasia subtypes. We screened the University of California San Francisco Memory and Aging Center's primary progressive aphasia cohort (n = 198) for history of language-related learning disability as well as hand preference, which has associations with learning disability. The study included logopenic (n = 48), non-fluent (n = 54) and semantic (n = 96) variant primary progressive aphasias. We investigated whether the presence of learning disability or non-right-handedness was associated with differential effects on demographic, neuropsychological and neuroimaging features of primary progressive aphasia. We showed that a high frequency of learning disability was present only in the logopenic group (χ(2) = 15.17, P < 0.001) and (χ(2) = 11.51, P < 0.001) compared with semantic and non-fluent populations. In this group, learning disability was associated with earlier onset of disease, more isolated language symptoms, and more focal pattern of left posterior temporoparietal atrophy. Non-right-handedness was instead over-represented in the semantic group, at nearly twice the prevalence of the general population (χ(2) = 6.34, P = 0.01). Within semantic variant primary progressive aphasia the right-handed and non-right-handed cohorts appeared homogeneous on imaging, cognitive profile, and structural analysis of brain symmetry. Lastly, the non-fluent group showed no increase in learning disability or non-right-handedness. Logopenic variant primary progressive aphasia and developmental dyslexia both manifest with phonological disturbances and posterior temporal involvement. Learning disability might confer vulnerability of this network to early-onset, focal Alzheimer's pathology. Left-handedness has been described as a proxy for atypical brain hemispheric lateralization. As non-right-handedness was increased only in the semantic group, anomalous lateralization mechanisms might instead be related to frontotemporal lobar degeneration with abnormal TARDBP. Taken together, this study suggests that neurodevelopmental signatures impart differential trajectories towards neurodegenerative disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Individuals with primary progressive aphasia (PPA) suffer a gradual decline in communication ability as a result of neurodegenerative disease. Language treatment shows promise as a means of addressing these difficulties but much remains to be learned with regard to the potential value of treatment across variants and stages of the disorder. We present two cases, one with semantic variant of PPA and the other with logopenic PPA, each of whom underwent treatment that was unique in its focus on training self-cueing strategies to engage residual language skills. Despite differing language profiles and levels of aphasia severity, each individual benefited from treatment and showed maintenance of gains as well as generalization to untrained lexical items. These cases highlight the potential for treatment to capitalize on spared cognitive and neural systems in individuals with PPA, improving current language function as well as potentially preserving targeted skills in the face of disease progression.
Brain and Language 07/2013; 127(2). DOI:10.1016/j.bandl.2013.05.018 · 3.22 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: IMPORTANCE Epileptic activity associated with Alzheimer disease (AD) deserves increased attention because it has a harmful impact on these patients, can easily go unrecognized and untreated, and may reflect pathogenic processes that also contribute to other aspects of the illness. We report key features of AD-related seizures and epileptiform activity that are instructive for clinical practice and highlight similarities between AD and transgenic animal models of the disease. OBJECTIVE To describe common clinical characteristics and treatment outcomes of patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) or early AD who also have epilepsy or subclinical epileptiform activity. DESIGN Retrospective observational study from 2007 to 2012. SETTING Memory and Aging Center, University of California, San Francisco. PATIENTS We studied 54 patients with a diagnosis of aMCI plus epilepsy (n = 12), AD plus epilepsy (n = 35), and AD plus subclinical epileptiform activity (n = 7). MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Clinical and demographic data, electroencephalogram (EEG) readings, and treatment responses to antiepileptic medications. RESULTS Patients with aMCI who had epilepsy presented with symptoms of cognitive decline 6.8 years earlier than patients with aMCI who did not have epilepsy (64.3 vs 71.1 years; P = .02). Patients with AD who had epilepsy presented with cognitive decline 5.5 years earlier than patients with AD who did not have epilepsy (64.8 vs 70.3 years; P = .001). Patients with AD who had subclinical epileptiform activity also had an early onset of cognitive decline (58.9 years). The timing of seizure onset in patients with aMCI and AD was nonuniform (P < .001), clustering near the onset of cognitive decline. Epilepsies were most often complex partial seizures (47%) and more than half were nonconvulsive (55%). Serial or extended EEG monitoring appeared to be more effective than routine EEG at detecting interictal and subclinical epileptiform activity. Epileptic foci were predominantly unilateral and temporal. Of the most commonly prescribed antiepileptics, treatment outcomes appeared to be better for lamotrigine and levetiracetam than for phenytoin. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Common clinical features of patients with aMCI- or AD-associated epilepsy at our center included early age at onset of cognitive decline, early incidence of seizures in the disease course, unilateral temporal epileptic foci detected by serial/extended EEG, transient cognitive dysfunction, and good seizure control and tolerability with lamotrigine and levetiracetam. Careful identification and treatment of epilepsy in such patients may improve their clinical course.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although previous studies have emphasized the vulnerability of the default mode network (DMN) in Alzheimer's disease (AD), little is known about the involvement of other functional networks and their relationship to clinical phenotype. To test whether clinicoanatomic heterogeneity in AD is driven by the involvement of specific networks, network connectivity was assessed in healthy subjects by seeding regions commonly and specifically atrophied in three clinical AD variants: early-onset AD (age at onset, <65 y; memory and executive deficits), logopenic variant primary progressive aphasia (language deficits), and posterior cortical atrophy (visuospatial deficits). Four-millimeter seed regions of interest were used to obtain intrinsic connectivity maps in 131 healthy controls (age, 65.5 ± 3.5 y). Atrophy patterns in independent cohorts of AD variant patients and their correspondence to connectivity networks in controls were also assessed. The connectivity maps of commonly atrophied regions of interest support posterior DMN and precuneus network involvement across AD variants, whereas seeding regions specifically atrophied in each AD variant revealed distinct, syndrome-specific connectivity patterns. Goodness-of-fit analysis of each connectivity map with network templates showed the highest correspondence between the early-onset AD seed connectivity map and anterior salience and right executive-control networks, the logopenic aphasia seed connectivity map and the language network, and the posterior cortical atrophy seed connectivity map and the higher visual network. Connectivity maps derived from controls matched regions commonly and specifically atrophied in the patients. Our findings indicate that the posterior DMN and precuneus network are commonly affected in AD variants, whereas syndrome-specific neurodegenerative patterns are driven by the involvement of specific networks outside the DMN.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 06/2013; 110(28). DOI:10.1073/pnas.1221536110 · 9.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Advances in automatic text classification have been necessitated by the rapid increase in the availability of digital documents. Machine learning (ML) algorithms can 'learn' from data: for instance a ML system can be trained on a set of features derived from written texts belonging to known categories, and learn to distinguish between them. Such a trained system can then be used to classify unseen texts. In this paper, we explore the potential of the technique to classify transcribed speech samples along clinical dimensions, using vocabulary data alone. We report the accuracy with which two related ML algorithms [naive Bayes Gaussian (NBG) and naive Bayes multinomial (NBM)] categorized picture descriptions produced by: 32 semantic dementia (SD) patients versus 10 healthy, age-matched controls; and SD patients with left- (n = 21) versus right-predominant (n = 11) patterns of temporal lobe atrophy. We used information gain (IG) to identify the vocabulary features that were most informative to each of these two distinctions. In the SD versus control classification task, both algorithms achieved accuracies of greater than 90%. In the right- versus left-temporal lobe predominant classification, NBM achieved a high level of accuracy (88%), but this was achieved by both NBM and NBG when the features used in the training set were restricted to those with high values of IG. The most informative features for the patient versus control task were low frequency content words, generic terms and components of metanarrative statements. For the right versus left task the number of informative lexical features was too small to support any specific inferences. An enriched feature set, including values derived from Quantitative Production Analysis (QPA) may shed further light on this little understood distinction.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The aetiology and pathogenesis of non-genetic forms of frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is unknown and even with the genetic forms of FTD, pathogenesis remains elusive. Given the association between systemic inflammation and other neurodegenerative processes, links between autoimmunity and FTD need to be explored. OBJECTIVE: To describe the prevalence of systemic autoimmune disease in semantic variant primary progressive aphasia (svPPA), a clinical cohort, and in progranulin (PGRN) mutation carriers compared with neurologically healthy normal controls (NC) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) as dementia controls. DESIGN: Case control. SETTING: Academic medical centres. PARTICIPANTS: 129 svPPA, 39 PGRN, 186 NC and 158 AD patients underwent chart review for autoimmune conditions. A large subset of svPPA, PGRN and NC cohorts underwent serum analysis for tumour necrosis factor α (TNF-α) levels. OUTCOME MEASURES: χ(2) Comparison of autoimmune prevalence and follow-up logistic regression. RESULTS: There was a significantly increased risk of autoimmune disorders clustered around inflammatory arthritides, cutaneous disorders and gastrointestinal conditions in the svPPA and PGRN cohorts. Elevated TNF-α levels were observed in svPPA and PGRN compared with NC. CONCLUSIONS: svPPA and PGRN are associated with increased prevalence of specific and related autoimmune diseases compared with NC and AD. These findings suggest a unique pattern of systemic inflammation in svPPA and PGRN and open new research avenues for understanding and treating disorders associated with underlying transactive response DNA-binding protein 43 aggregation.
Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry 03/2013; 84(9). DOI:10.1136/jnnp-2012-304644 · 6.81 Impact Factor