Maria Luisa Gorno-Tempini

Territory neurology and research Institute, Tucson, Arizona, United States

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Publications (161)

  • Maria Luisa Gorno-Tempini · Peter Pressman
    Chapter · Dec 2016
  • Stephen M Wilson · Andrew T DeMarco · Maya L Henry · [...] · Maria Luisa Gorno-Tempini
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Syntactic processing deficits are highly variable in individuals with primary progressive aphasia. Damage to left inferior frontal cortex has been associated with syntactic deficits in primary progressive aphasia in a number of structural and functional neuroimaging studies. However, a contrasting picture of a broader syntactic network has emerged from neuropsychological studies in other aphasic cohorts, and functional imaging studies in healthy controls. To reconcile these findings, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the functional neuroanatomy of syntactic comprehension in 51 individuals with primary progressive aphasia, composed of all clinical variants and a range of degrees of syntactic processing impairment. We used trial-by-trial reaction time as a proxy for syntactic processing load, to determine which regions were modulated by syntactic processing in each patient, and how the set of regions recruited was related to whether syntactic processing was ultimately successful or unsuccessful. Relationships between functional abnormalities and patterns of cortical atrophy were also investigated. We found that the individual degree of syntactic comprehension impairment was predicted by left frontal atrophy, but also by functional disruption of a broader syntactic processing network, comprising left posterior frontal cortex, left posterior temporal cortex, and the left intraparietal sulcus and adjacent regions. These regions were modulated by syntactic processing in healthy controls and in patients with primary progressive aphasia with relatively spared syntax, but they were modulated to a lesser extent or not at all in primary progressive aphasia patients whose syntax was relatively impaired. Our findings suggest that syntactic comprehension deficits in primary progressive aphasia reflect not only structural and functional changes in left frontal cortex, but also disruption of a wider syntactic processing network.
    Article · Aug 2016 · Brain
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    Maria Luisa Mandelli · Eduard Vilaplana · Jesse A. Brown · [...] · Maria Luisa Gorno-Tempini
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neurodegeneration has been hypothesized to follow predetermined large-scale networks through the trans-synaptic spread of toxic proteins from a syndrome-specific epicentre. To date, no longitudinal neuroimaging study has tested this hypothesis in vivo in frontotemporal dementia spectrum disorders. The aim of this study was to demonstrate that longitudinal progression of atrophy in non-fluent/agrammatic variant primary progressive aphasia spreads over time from a syndrome-specific epicentre to additional regions, based on their connectivity to the epicentre in healthy control subjects. The syndrome-specific epicentre of the non-fluent/agrammatic variant of primary progressive aphasia was derived in a group of 10 mildly affected patients (clinical dementia rating equal to 0) using voxel-based morphometry. From this region, the inferior frontal gyrus (pars opercularis), we derived functional and structural connectivity maps in healthy controls (n = 30) using functional magnetic resonance imaging at rest and diffusion-weighted imaging tractography. Graph theory analysis was applied to derive functional network features. Atrophy progression was calculated using voxel-based morphometry longitudinal analysis on 34 non-fluent/agrammatic patients. Correlation analyses were performed to compare volume changes in patients with connectivity measures of the healthy functional and structural speech/language network. The default mode network was used as a control network. From the epicentre, the healthy functional connectivity network included the left supplementary motor area and the prefrontal, inferior parietal and temporal regions, which were connected through the aslant, superior longitudinal and arcuate fasciculi. Longitudinal grey and white matter changes were found in the left language-related regions and in the right inferior frontal gyrus. Functional connectivity strength in the healthy speech/language network, but not in the default network, correlated with longitudinal grey matter changes in the non-fluent/agrammatic variant of primary progressive aphasia. Graph theoretical analysis of the speech/language network showed that regions with shorter functional paths to the epicentre exhibited greater longitudinal atrophy. The network contained three modules, including a left inferior frontal gyrus/supplementary motor area, which was most strongly connected with the epicentre. The aslant tract was the white matter pathway connecting these two regions and showed the most significant correlation between fractional anisotropy and white matter longitudinal atrophy changes. This study showed that the pattern of longitudinal atrophy progression in the non-fluent/agrammatic variant of primary progressive aphasia relates to the strength of connectivity in pre-determined functional and structural large-scale speech production networks. These findings support the hypothesis that the spread of neurodegeneration occurs by following specific anatomical and functional neuronal network architectures.
    Full-text Article · Aug 2016 · Brain
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Importance: Clearer delineation of the phenotypic heterogeneity within behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) will help uncover underlying biological mechanisms and improve clinicians' ability to predict disease course and to design targeted management strategies. Objective: To identify subtypes of bvFTD syndrome based on distinctive patterns of atrophy defined by selective vulnerability of specific functional networks targeted in bvFTD using statistical classification approaches. Design, setting and participants: In this retrospective observational study, 90 patients meeting the Frontotemporal Dementia Consortium consensus criteria for bvFTD underwent evaluation at the Memory and Aging Center of the Department of Neurology at University of California, San Francisco. Patients underwent a multidisciplinary clinical evaluation, including clinical demographics, genetic testing, symptom evaluation, neurologic examination, neuropsychological bedside testing, and socioemotional assessments. All patients underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging at their earliest evaluation at the memory clinic. From each patient's structural imaging scans, the mean volumes of 18 regions of interest (ROI) constituting the functional networks specifically vulnerable in bvFTD, including the salience network (SN), with key nodes in the frontoinsula and pregenual anterior cingulate, and the semantic appraisal network (SAN), anchored in the anterior temporal lobe and subgenual cingulate, were estimated. Principal component and cluster analyses of ROI volumes were used to identify patient clusters with anatomically distinct atrophy patterns. Data were collected from from June 19, 2002, to January 13, 2015. Main outcomes and measures: Evaluation of brain morphology and other clinical features, including presenting symptoms, neurologic examination signs, neuropsychological performance, rate of dementia progression, and socioemotional function, in each patient cluster. Results: Ninety patients (54 men [60%]; 36 women [40%]; mean [SD] age at evaluation, 55.1 [9.7] years) were included in the analysis. Four subgroups of patients with bvFTD with distinct anatomic patterns of network degeneration were identified, including 2 salience network-predominant subgroups (frontal/temporal [SN-FT] and frontal [SN-F]), a semantic appraisal network-predominant group (SAN), and a subcortical-predominant group. Subgroups demonstrated distinct patterns of cognitive, socioemotional, and motor symptoms, as well as genetic compositions and estimated rates of disease progression. Conclusions and relevance: Divergent patterns of vulnerability in specific functional network components make an important contribution to the clinical heterogeneity of bvFTD. The data-driven anatomic classification identifies biologically meaningful anatomic phenotypes and provides a replicable approach to disambiguate the bvFTD syndrome.
    Full-text Article · Jul 2016
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPSs) often occur in early-age-of-onset Alzheimer's disease (EOAD) and cluster into sub-syndromes (SSy). The aim of this study was to investigate the association between (18) F-FDG-PET regional and connectivity-based brain metabolic dysfunctions and neuropsychiatric SSy. NPSs were assessed in 27 EOAD using the Neuropsychiatric Inventory and further clustered into four SSy (apathetic, hyperactivity, affective, and psychotic SSy). Eighty-five percent of EOAD showed at least one NPS. Voxel-wise correlations between SSy scores and brain glucose metabolism (assessed with (18) F-FDG positron emission tomography) were studied. Interregional correlation analysis was used to explore metabolic connectivity in the salience (aSN) and default mode networks (DMN) in a larger sample of EOAD (N = 51) and Healthy Controls (N = 57). The apathetic, hyperactivity, and affective SSy were highly prevalent (>60%) as compared to the psychotic SSy (33%). The hyperactivity SSy scores were associated with increase of glucose metabolism in frontal and limbic structures, implicated in behavioral control. A comparable positive correlation with part of the same network was found for the affective SSy scores. On the other hand, the apathetic SSy scores were negatively correlated with metabolism in the bilateral orbitofrontal and dorsolateral frontal cortex known to be involved in motivation and decision-making processes. Consistent with these SSy regional correlations with brain metabolic dysfunction, the connectivity analysis showed increases in the aSN and decreases in the DMN. Behavioral abnormalities in EOAD are associated with specific dysfunctional changes in brain metabolic activity, in particular in the aSN that seems to play a crucial role in NPSs in EOAD. Hum Brain Mapp, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Article · Jul 2016 · Human Brain Mapping
  • Miguel A. Santos-Santos · Maria Luisa Mandelli · Richard J. Binney · [...] · Maria Luisa Gorno-Tempini
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Importance: We provide novel evidence of specific clinical and neuroimaging features that may help for the in vivo prediction of underlying pathology in patients with nonfluent/agrammatic primary progressive aphasia (nfvPPA) and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) or corticobasal degeneration (CBD) proved by autopsy. Objective: To characterize the neurological, cognitive, and neuroimaging features of patients with nfvPPA-in whom either PSP or CBD was eventually confirmed at autopsy-at initial presentation and at 1-year follow-up. Design, setting, and participants: A prospective longitudinal clinical-pathological study was conducted in a tertiary research clinic that specialized in cognitive disorders. Fourteen patients were evaluated between January 2002 and December 2014. Inclusion criteria for the study were a clinical diagnosis of nfvPPA; the availability of speech, language, and cognitive testing for at least 1 evaluation; magnetic resonance imaging within 6 months of initial evaluation; and a postmortem pathological diagnosis of PSP or CBD. Ten matched healthy control participants were also included. Main outcomes and measures: Clinical, cognitive, and neuroimaging longitudinal data were analyzed to characterize the whole nfvPPA-4-repeat-tau group and identify differences between nfvPPA-PSP and nfvPPA-CBD both at presentation and longitudinally. Results: Patient groups did not differ significantly in age, sex, or handedness (nfvPPA-PSP group: median [interquartile range (IQR)] age, 74 [67-76] years; 1 of 5 male [20%]; 1 of 5 left-handed [20%]; and nfvPPA-CBD group: mean [IQR] age, 65 [54-81] years; 3 of 9 male [33%]; 0 left-handed). Motor speech impairment and left frontal white matter atrophy were the most prominent common features. At presentation, dysarthria (Motor Speech Examination median [IQR] score: nfvPPA-PSP, 4 [2-7]; nfvPPA-CBD, 0 [0-4]; P = .02), depression (Geriatric Depression Scale median [IQR] score: nfvPPA-PSP, 19 [3-28]; nfvPPA-CBD, 4 [0-16]; P = .04), and relatively selective white matter atrophy were typical of the nfvPPA-PSP group, while greater gray matter atrophy and a trend toward greater sentence comprehension deficits (median [IQR] sentence comprehension correct: nfvPPA-PSP, 98% [80-100]; nfvPPA-CBD, 81% [65-98]; P = .08) were found in the nfvPPA-CBD group. At follow-up after 1 year, we observed no significant differences in any speech or language measures. Furthermore, atrophy in patients with PSP progressed within the subcortical/brainstem motor system generating greater oculomotors deficits and swallowing difficulty; atrophy in patients with CBD spread anteriorly in prefrontal regions consistent with their greater working memory impairment and development of behavioral symptoms. Conclusions and relevance: In patients presenting with nfvPPA, presence of early severe dysarthria, relatively selective white matter atrophy at presentation, and a greater rate of change in the brainstem measured by longitudinal imaging may be useful for differentiating underlying PSP from CBD pathology during life.
    Article · Apr 2016
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The advent of the positron emission tomography tracer (18)F-AV1451 provides the unique opportunity to visualize the regional distribution of tau pathology in the living human brain. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that tau pathology is closely linked to symptomatology and patterns of glucose hypometabolism in Alzheimer's disease, in contrast to the more diffuse distribution of amyloid-β pathology. We included 20 patients meeting criteria for probable Alzheimer's disease dementia or mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer's disease, presenting with a variety of clinical phenotypes, and 15 amyloid-β-negative cognitively normal individuals, who underwent (18)F-AV1451 (tau), (11)C-PiB (amyloid-β) and (18)F-FDG (glucose metabolism) positron emission tomography, apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotyping and neuropsychological testing. Voxel-wise contrasts against controls (at P < 0.05 family-wise error corrected) showed that (18)F-AV1451 and (18)F-FDG patterns in patients with posterior cortical atrophy ('visual variant of Alzheimer's disease', n = 7) specifically targeted the clinically affected posterior brain regions, while (11)C-PiB bound diffusely throughout the neocortex. Patients with an amnestic-predominant presentation (n = 5) showed highest (18)F-AV1451 retention in medial temporal and lateral temporoparietal regions. Patients with logopenic variant primary progressive aphasia ('language variant of Alzheimer's disease', n = 5) demonstrated asymmetric left greater than right hemisphere (18)F-AV1451 uptake in three of five patients. Across 30 FreeSurfer-defined regions of interest in 16 Alzheimer's disease patients with all three positron emission tomography scans available, there was a strong negative association between (18)F-AV1451 and (18)F-FDG uptake (Pearson's r = -0.49 ± 0.07, P < 0.001) and less pronounced positive associations between (11)C-PiB and (18)F-FDG (Pearson's r = 0.16 ± 0.09, P < 0.001) and (18)F-AV1451 and (11)C-PiB (Pearson's r = 0.18 ± 0.09, P < 0.001). Voxel-wise linear regressions thresholded at P < 0.05 (uncorrected) showed that, across all patients, younger age was associated with greater (18)F-AV1451 uptake in wide regions of the neocortex, while older age was associated with increased (18)F-AV1451 in the medial temporal lobe. APOE ϵ4 carriers showed greater temporal and parietal (18)F-AV1451 uptake than non-carriers. Finally, worse performance on domain-specific neuropsychological tests was associated with greater (18)F-AV1451 uptake in key regions implicated in memory (medial temporal lobes), visuospatial function (occipital, right temporoparietal cortex) and language (left > right temporoparietal cortex). In conclusion, tau imaging-contrary to amyloid-β imaging-shows a strong regional association with clinical and anatomical heterogeneity in Alzheimer's disease. Although preliminary, these results are consistent with and expand upon findings from post-mortem, animal and cerebrospinal fluid studies, and suggest that the pathological aggregation of tau is closely linked to patterns of neurodegeneration and clinical manifestations of Alzheimer's disease.
    Article · Mar 2016 · Brain
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    Nico Papinutto · Sebastiano Galantucci · Maria Luisa Mandelli · [...] · Maria Luisa Gorno-Tempini
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The anterior temporal lobes (ATL) have been implicated in a range of cognitive functions including auditory and visual perception, language, semantic knowledge, and social-emotional processing. However, the anatomical relationships between the ATLs and the broader cortical networks that subserve these functions have not been fully elucidated. Using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and probabilistic tractography, we tested the hypothesis that functional segregation of information in the ATLs is reflected by distinct patterns of structural connectivity to regions outside the ATLs. We performed a parcellation of the ATLs bilaterally based on the degree of connectivity of each voxel with eight ipsilateral target regions known to be involved in various cognitive networks. Six discrete segments within each ATL showed preferential connectivity to one of the ipsilateral target regions, via four major fiber tracts (uncinate, inferior longitudinal, middle longitudinal, and arcuate fasciculi). Two noteworthy interhemispheric differences were observed: connections between the ATL and orbito-frontal areas were stronger in the right hemisphere, while the consistency of the connection between the ATL and the inferior frontal gyrus through the arcuate fasciculus was greater in the left hemisphere. Our findings support the hypothesis that distinct regions within the ATLs have anatomical connections to different cognitive networks. Hum Brain Mapp, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Full-text Article · Mar 2016 · Human Brain Mapping
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: To characterize the cognitive and neuropsychiatric symptoms of patients with behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) over the natural course of the disease. Methods: We examined the initial and subsequent neuropsychological test performance and neuropsychiatric symptoms in a large cohort of patients with bvFTD (n = 204) across progressive stages of disease as measured by the Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR). We also compared cognitive and neuropsychiatric impairments of patients with bvFTD to those of an age-matched cohort with Alzheimer disease (AD) dementia (n = 674). Results: At the earliest stage (CDR = 0.5), patients with bvFTD had profound neuropsychiatric disturbances, insensitivity to errors, slower response times, and poor naming, with intact attention span, memory, and facial affect naming. Tests continuing to show progressive, statistically significant stepwise declines after the CDR = 1 stage included free recall, visuoconstruction, set-shifting, error insensitivity, semantic fluency, design fluency, emotion naming, calculations, confrontation naming, syntax comprehension, and verbal agility. At CDR = 0.5, patients with bvFTD significantly outperformed patients with AD in episodic memory and were faster in set-shifting, while scoring quantitatively worse in lexical fluency, emotion naming, and error sensitivity. The overall rate of disease progression in bvFTD was more rapid than in AD. Conclusion: There are distinct patterns of cognitive deficits differentiating the earlier and later disease stages in bvFTD, with the pattern of cognitive decline revealing in greater detail the natural history of the disease. These cognitive symptoms are readily apparent clinical markers of dysfunction in the principal brain networks known to undergo molecular and anatomical changes in bvFTD, thus are important indicators of the evolving pathology in individual patients.
    Full-text Article · Jan 2016 · Neurology
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    Maya L Henry · Stephen M Wilson · Miranda C Babiak · [...] · Maria Luisa Gorno-Tempini
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Individuals with primary progressive aphasia (PPA) show selective breakdown in regions within the proposed dorsal (articulatory-phonological) and ventral (lexical-semantic) pathways involved in language processing. Phonological STM impairment, which has been attributed to selective damage to dorsal pathway structures, is considered to be a distinctive feature of the logopenic variant of PPA. By contrast, phonological abilities are considered to be relatively spared in the semantic variant and are largely unexplored in the nonfluent/agrammatic variant. Comprehensive assessment of phonological ability in the three variants of PPA has not been undertaken. We investigated phonological processing skills in a group of participants with PPA as well as healthy controls, with the goal of identifying whether patterns of performance support the dorsal versus ventral functional-anatomical framework and to discern whether phonological ability differs among PPA subtypes. We also explored the neural bases of phonological performance using voxel-based morphometry. Phonological performance was impaired in patients with damage to dorsal pathway structures (nonfluent/agrammatic and logopenic variants), with logopenic participants demonstrating particular difficulty on tasks involving nonwords. Binary logistic regression revealed that select phonological tasks predicted diagnostic group membership in the less fluent variants of PPA with a high degree of accuracy, particularly in conjunction with a motor speech measure. Brain-behavior correlations indicated a significant association between the integrity of gray matter in frontal and temporoparietal regions of the left hemisphere and phonological skill. Findings confirm the critical role of dorsal stream structures in phonological processing and demonstrate unique patterns of impaired phonological processing in logopenic and nonfluent/agrammatic variants of PPA.
    Full-text Article · Nov 2015 · Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Maria Luisa Mandelli · Paolo Vitali · Miguel Santos · [...] · Maria Luisa Gorno-Tempini
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The non-fluent/agrammatic variant of primary progressive aphasia (nfvPPA) and the behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) are focal neurodegenerative disorders belonging to the FTD-spectrum clinical syndromes. NfvPPA is characterized by effortful speech and/or agrammatism and left frontal atrophy, while bvFTD is characterized by social–emotional dysfunction often accompanied by right-lateralized frontal damage. Despite their contrasting clinical presentations, both disorders show prominent left anterior insula atrophy. We investigated differential patterns of insular sub-region atrophy in nfvPPA and bvFTD. Based on knowledge of insular connectivity and physiology, we hypothesized that the left superior precentral region of the dorsal anterior insula (SPGI) would be more atrophic in nvfPPA due to its critical role in motor speech, whereas the ventral anterior region would be more atrophied in bvFTD reflecting its known role in social–emotional–autonomic functions. Early stage nfvPPA and bvFTD patients matched for disease severity, age, gender and education and healthy controls participated in the study. Detailed clinical history, neurological examination, neuropsychological screening evaluation, and high-resolution T1-weighted brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were collected. Voxel-based morphometry (VBM) was applied to perform group comparisons across the whole brain and in bilateral insula region of interest (ROI). Correlation analyses between insular sub-region atrophy and relevant clinical features were performed. Whole brain group comparisons between nfvPPA and bvFTD showed the expected predominantly left or right anterior insular atrophy pattern. ROI analysis of bilateral insula showed that the left SPGI was significantly more atrophied in nfvPPA compared to bvFTD, while the bilateral ventral anterior and right dorsal anterior insula sub-regions were more atrophied in bvFTD than nfvPPA.
    Article · Nov 2015 · Cortex
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    [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.
    Full-text Article · Jul 2015 · Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD
  • [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.
    Article · Jul 2015 · Journal of Neurology
  • Raffaella Migliaccio · Federica Agosta · Katherine L Possin · [...] · Maria Luisa Gorno-Tempini
    [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.
    Article · Mar 2015 · Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Determining the relative contribution of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles to brain dysfunction in Alzheimer disease is critical for therapeutic approaches, but until recently could only be assessed at autopsy. We report a patient with posterior cortical atrophy (visual variant of Alzheimer disease) who was studied using the novel tau tracer [(18) F]AV-1451 in conjunction with [(11) C]Pittsburgh compound B (PIB; amyloid) and [(18) F]fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography. Whereas [(11) C]PIB bound throughout association neocortex, [(18) F]AV-1451 was selectively retained in posterior brain regions that were affected clinically and showed markedly reduced [(18) F]FDG uptake. This provides preliminary in vivo evidence that tau is more closely linked to hypometabolism and symptomatology than amyloid. Ann Neurol 2014. © 2014 American Neurological Association.
    Full-text Article · Feb 2015 · Annals of Neurology
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    Simona Maria Brambati · Serena Amici · Caroline A. Racine · [...] · Maria Luisa Gorno-Tempini
    [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. Overall, these results indicate that the three PPA variants present distinct patterns of neuroanatomical contraction, which reflect their clinical and cognitive progression.
    Full-text Article · Jan 2015 · NeuroImage: Clinical
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    Zachary A Miller · Leighton B Hinkley · Alex Herman · [...] · Maria Luisa Gorno-Tempini
    Full-text Article · Dec 2014 · Neurology
  • Stephen M. Wilson · Temre H. Brandt · Maya L. Henry · [...] · Maria Luisa Gorno-Tempini
    [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.
    Article · Sep 2014 · Brain and Language
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    Richard J. Binney · Maya Henry · Miranda Babiak · [...] · Maria Luisa Gorno-Tempini
    [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.
    Full-text Conference Paper · Aug 2014
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    Maria Luisa Mandelli · Eduardo Caverzasi · Richard J Binney · [...] · Maria Luisa Gorno-Tempini
    [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.
    Full-text Article · Jul 2014 · The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience

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  • 2001
    • Territory neurology and research Institute
      Tucson, Arizona, United States
    • University of Oxford
      Oxford, England, United Kingdom