[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: It has been suggested that patients with motor neurone disease (MND) and those with MND combined with behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) (ie FTD + MND) or with FTD alone might exist on a continuum based on commonalities of neuropathology and/or genetic risk. Moreover, it has been reported that both a neuronal and a glial cell tauopathy can accompany the TDP-43 proteinopathy in patients with motor neurone disease (MND) with cognitive changes, and that the tauopathy may be fundamental to disease pathogenesis and clinical phenotype. In the present study, we sought to substantiate these latter findings, and test this concept of a pathological continuum, in a consecutive series of 41 patients with MND, 16 with FTD + MND and 23 with FTD without MND. Paraffin sections of frontal, entorhinal, temporal and occipital cortex and hippocampus were immunostained for tau pathology using anti-tau antibodies, AT8, pThr¹⁷⁵ and pThr²¹⁷, and for amyloid β protein (Aβ) using 4G8 antibody. Twenty four (59 %) patients with MND, 7 (44 %) patients with FTD + MND and 10 (43 %) patients with FTD showed ‘significant’ tau pathology (ie more than just an isolated neurofibrillary tangle or a few neuropil threads in one or more brain regions examined). In most instances, this bore the histological characteristics of an Alzheimer’s disease process involving entorhinal cortex, hippocampus, temporal cortex, frontal cortex and occipital cortex in decreasing frequency, accompanied by a deposition of Aβ up to Thal phase 3, though 2 patients with MND, and 1 with FTD did show tau pathology beyond Braak stage III. Four other patients with MND showed novel neuronal tau pathology, within the frontal cortex alone, specifically detected by pThr¹⁷⁵ antibody, which was characterised by a fine granular or more clumped aggregation of tau without neurofibrillary tangles or neuropil threads. However, none of these 4 patients had clinically evident cognitive disorder, and this type of tau pathology was not seen in any of the FTD + MND or FTD patients. Finally, two patients, one with MND and one with FTD, showed a tau pathology consistent with Argyrophilic Grain Disease (AGD). Western blotting and use of 3- and 4-repeat tau antibodies confirmed the histological interpretation of Alzheimer’s disease type pathology in all instances except for those patients with accompanying AGD where a banding pattern on western blot, and immunohistochemistry, confirmed 4-repeat tauopathy. In all 3 patient groups, amyloid pathology was more likely to be present in patients dying after 65 years of age, and in the presence of APOE ε4 allele. We conclude that tau pathological changes are equally common amongst patients with MND, FTD + MND and FTD though, in most instances, these are limited in extent. In patients with MND, when cognitive impairment is present this is most likely due to an accompanying/evolving (coincidental) Alzheimer’s disease process or, as in a single case, Dementia with Lewy bodies, within the cerebral cortex rather than as a result of TDP-43 proteinopathy. Conversely, in FTD and FTD + MND dementia is more likely to be associated with TDP-43 proteinopathy than tau. Hence, present study shows no progression in severity of (tau) pathology from MND through FTD + MND to FTD, and does not support the concept of these conditions forming a continuum of clinical or pathological change.
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[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Headache with neurological deficit and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) lymphocytosis (HaNDL) syndrome is an important diagnosis to consider in patients presenting with the relevant features to acute medicine. Investigations should aim to exclude more serious differential diagnoses such as infectious, inflammatory and neoplastic causes prior to making a formal diagnosis of HaNDL. Increased awareness and early consideration of HaNDL would help to avoid unnecessary prolonged courses of antimicrobial therapy and invasive investigations such as cerebral angiography.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease (EOAD) can be familial (FAD) or sporadic (sEOAD); both have a disease onset ≤ 65 years of age. 451 sEOAD samples were screened for known causative mutations in exon 16 and 17 of the Amyloid Precursor Protein gene (APP). Four samples were shown to be heterozygous for one of three known causative mutations: p.A713T, p.V717I and p.V717G, this highlights the importance of screening EOAD patients for causative mutations. Additionally, we document an intronic 6 base pair (bp) deletion located 83 bp downstream of exon 17 (rs367709245, IVS17 83-88delAAGTAT), which has a non-significantly increased minor allele frequency in our sEOAD cohort (0.006) compared to LOAD (0.002) and controls (0.002). To assess the effect of the 6 bp deletion on splicing, COS-7 and BE(2)-C cells were transfected with a minigene vector encompassing exon 17. There was no change in splicing of exon 17 from constructs containing either wild type or deletion inserts. Sequencing of cDNA generated from cerebellum and temporal cortex of a patient harbouring the deletion found no evidence of transcripts with exon 17 removed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Aims:
A hexanucleotide expansion in C9orf72 is the major genetic cause of inherited Frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), and Motor Neurone disease (MND), though the pathological mechanism(s) underlying disease remains uncertain.
Using antibodies to poly-GA, poly-GP, poly-GR poly-AP and poly-PR proteins, we examined sections of cerebral cortex, hippocampus, thalamus, cerebellum and spinal cord, from 20 patients with bvFTD and/or MND bearing an expansion in C9orf72 for aggregated deposits of dipeptide repeat proteins (DPR).
Antibodies to poly-GA, poly-GP and poly-GR detected numerous rounded cytoplasmic inclusions (NCI) within granule cells of hippocampal dentate gyrus and those of the cerebellum, as well as 'star-burst' shaped NCI in pyramidal neurones of CA3/4 region of hippocampus. NCI were uncommon in Purkinje cells, and only very rarely seen in anterior horn cells. Poly-PA antibody detected occasional NCI within CA3/4 neurones alone, whereas poly-PR antibody did not identify any NCI but immunostained the nucleus of anterior horn cells, CA3/4 neurones and Purkinje cells, in patients with or without expansion in C9orf72, as well as in normal controls. Poly-GA antibody generally detected more DPR than poly-GP, which in turn was greater than poly-GR. All patients with bvFTD+MND or MND showed plentiful p62/TDP-43 positive inclusions in remaining anterior horn cells.
Degeneration and loss of anterior horn cells associated with expansions in C9orf72 occurs in the absence of DPR, and implies that changes involving loss of nuclear staining for and a cytoplasmic aggregation of TDP-43 are more likely to be the cause of this. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Article · Nov 2015 · Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Our objective was to compare the clinical and pathological characteristics of frontotemporal dementia patients with MAPT, GRN and C9orf72 gene mutations. We carried out a cross-sectional comparative study of 74 gene-positive patients (15 MAPT, 17 GRN and 42 C9orf72). Thirty had post mortem pathological data permitting clinico-pathological correlation. MAPT patients were younger than other groups, and showed more frequent behavioural disinhibition, repetitive and stereotyped behaviours, semantic impairment and temporal predominance of atrophy. GRN patients were older at death and more likely to present with non-fluent aphasia. C9orf72 patients alone showed a co-occurrence of ALS. They showed more psychotic symptoms and irrational behaviour, yet were more often reported clinically as socially appropriate and warm. They showed less dietary change than other groups. C9orf72 patients with and without ALS differed only in frequency of psychosis. Greater clinical overlap was observed between GRN and C9orf72 compared to MAPT cases. MAPT cases had tau and GRN and C9orf72, with one exception, TDP-43 pathology. Non-fluent aphasia was linked to TDP subtype A in both GRN and C9orf72 cases and ALS with subtype B. In conclusion, the findings reinforce clinical heterogeneity in FTD and strengthen evidence that genotype influences clinical presentation. Clinical features may inform targeted genetic testing.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Important insights into the pathogenic mechanism of Alzheimer's disease (AD) have arisen from the identification of genetic risk factors. Recently, a variant in the TREM2 gene (rs75932628), causing a C-to-T base-pair change that results in the substitution of histidine for arginine at amino acid position 47 (R47H) in the TREM2 protein, has been associated with an increased risk of AD. We, therefore, genotyped samples from a cohort of 474 AD patients and 608 healthy controls, from the northwest region of the UK, using allelic discrimination assays, to replicate the results of the previous studies. We show a significant association of the T allele of the rs75932628 variant of TREM2 with AD (allelic odds ratio 11.08, 95% confidence interval 2.55-48.09, and Yates' corrected p value = 0.000146). TREM2 is an innate immune receptor that regulates microglial cytokine production and phagocytosis, implying that dysregulation of these processes may be involved in AD pathology, with implications for disease management.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are considered to be part of a disease spectrum. However, with the exception of C9orf72, genes that cause ALS are rarely found to cause FTD and vice versa. To investigate this further, we have sequenced the ALS gene UBQLN2 in our FTD cohort and have found a single putative mutation. This further supports the concept that ALS genes are a rare cause of FTD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a complex disorder characterised by a broad range of clinical manifestations, differential pathological signatures, and genetic variability. Mutations in three genes-MAPT, GRN, and C9orf72-have been associated with FTD. We sought to identify novel genetic risk loci associated with the disorder.
METHODS: We did a two-stage genome-wide association study on clinical FTD, analysing samples from 3526 patients with FTD and 9402 healthy controls. To reduce genetic heterogeneity, all participants were of European ancestry. In the discovery phase (samples from 2154 patients with FTD and 4308 controls), we did separate association analyses for each FTD subtype (behavioural variant FTD, semantic dementia, progressive non-fluent aphasia, and FTD overlapping with motor neuron disease [FTD-MND]), followed by a meta-analysis of the entire dataset. We carried forward replication of the novel suggestive loci in an independent sample series (samples from 1372 patients and 5094 controls) and then did joint phase and brain expression and methylation quantitative trait loci analyses for the associated (p<5 × 10(-8)) single-nucleotide polymorphisms.
FINDINGS: We identified novel associations exceeding the genome-wide significance threshold (p<5 × 10(-8)). Combined (joint) analyses of discovery and replication phases showed genome-wide significant association at 6p21.3, HLA locus (immune system), for rs9268877 (p=1·05 × 10(-8); odds ratio=1·204 [95% CI 1·11-1·30]), rs9268856 (p=5·51 × 10(-9); 0·809 [0·76-0·86]) and rs1980493 (p value=1·57 × 10(-8), 0·775 [0·69-0·86]) in the entire cohort. We also identified a potential novel locus at 11q14, encompassing RAB38/CTSC (the transcripts of which are related to lysosomal biology), for the behavioural FTD subtype for which joint analyses showed suggestive association for rs302668 (p=2·44 × 10(-7); 0·814 [0·71-0·92]). Analysis of expression and methylation quantitative trait loci data suggested that these loci might affect expression and methylation in cis.
INTERPRETATION: Our findings suggest that immune system processes (link to 6p21.3) and possibly lysosomal and autophagy pathways (link to 11q14) are potentially involved in FTD. Our findings need to be replicated to better define the association of the newly identified loci with disease and to shed light on the pathomechanisms contributing to FTD
Full-text Article · Jul 2014 · The Lancet Neurology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Background
Delirium is common and is associated with an increased risk of dementia. However, it is not clear whether delirium confers increased risk of any particular type of dementia. We performed a retrospective study of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) to ascertain whether a suspected episode of preceding delirium was more common prior to diagnosis in either type of dementia. Methods
The study was carried out in a tertiary referral unit for the diagnosis of dementia. Clinic letters from the first presentation to the unit of 85 cases with DLB and 95 cases of AD were reviewed for documentation of any previous episodes of suspected delirium. ResultsIn this study, 25% of DLB cases had at least one reported episode of suspected delirium as compared to 7% of AD cases (p=0.001). For the DLB cases who had a prior suspected delirium, 23% had more than one episode compared with 14% of the AD group. The median time between most recent suspected episode of delirium and diagnosis of dementia in both groups was less than a year ConclusionsA greater proportion of those presenting and diagnosed with DLB had a documentation of a suspected delirium than those diagnosed with AD. Delirium may lead to a higher risk of DLB as opposed to other forms of dementia, or delirium may, at least in some cases, represent the early stages of DLB. These data suggest that a diagnosis of DLB should be specifically considered in those presenting with a delirium. Copyright (c) 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Article · Feb 2014 · International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Repeat expansions in C9orf72 are a major cause of frontotemporal dementia with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (FTD-ALS). Not all FTD-ALS patients show expansions. The study examined whether there are clinical differences between FTD-ALS patients with and without expansions in C9orf72. We examined case notes from consecutive FTD-ALS patients, screened for C9orf72 expansions, and documented demographic, neurological, behavioural and cognitive characteristics. Sixty patients met the selection criteria, of whom 11 showed expanded repeats (C9-positive) and 49 did not (C9-negative). A strong male bias was present in the C9-negative group only. A family history of FTD or ALS was recorded in both groups, but was significantly more common in C9-positive cases. Psychotic and irrational behaviours, apathy, disinhibition and loss of empathy were significantly more common in C9-positive cases, with a trend towards more frequent bulbar signs. No differences were found in onset age, presentation (ALS or FTD first), or cognitive changes (language and executive impairments). In conclusion, FTD-ALS is not clinically uniform. Phenotypic differences exist between patients with and without C9orf72 expansions, suggesting that FTD-ALS may be underpinned by distinct neurobiological substrates. The presence of psychiatric symptoms in the context of FTD-ALS should alert clinicians to the possibility of C9orf72 expansions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Y. S. Davidson, A. C. Robinson, Q. Hu, M. Mishra, A. Baborie, E. Jaros, R. H. Perry, N. J. Cairns, A. Richardson, A. Gerhard, D. Neary, J. S. Snowden, E. H. Bigio and D. M. A. Mann (2013) Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology39, 157–165
Nuclear carrier and RNA-binding proteins in frontotemporal lobar degeneration associated with fused in sarcoma (FUS) pathological changes
Aims: We aimed to investigate the role of the nuclear carrier and binding proteins, transportin 1 (TRN1) and transportin 2 (TRN2), TATA-binding protein-associated factor 15 (TAF15) and Ewing's sarcoma protein (EWS) in inclusion body formation in cases of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) associated with fused in sarcoma protein (FTLD-FUS). Methods: Eight cases of FTLD-FUS (five cases of atypical FTLD-U, two of neuronal intermediate filament inclusion body disease and one of basophilic inclusion body disease) were immunostained for FUS, TRN1, TRN2, TAF15 and EWS. Ten cases of FTLD associated with TDP-43 inclusions served as reference cases. Results: The inclusion bodies in FTLD-FUS contained TRN1 and TAF15 and, to a lesser extent, EWS, but not TRN2. The patterns of immunostaining for TRN1 and TAF15 were very similar to that of FUS. None of these proteins was associated with tau or TDP-43 aggregations in FTLD. Conclusions: Data suggest that FUS, TRN1 and TAF15 may participate in a functional pathway in an interdependent way, and imply that the function of TDP-43 may not necessarily be in parallel with, or complementary to, that of FUS, despite each protein sharing many similar structural elements.
Article · Apr 2012 · Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) is a highly familial neurodegenerative disease. It has recently been shown that the most common genetic cause of FTLD and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a hexanucleotide repeat expansion in C9ORF72. To investigate whether this expansion was specific to the FTLD/ALS disease spectrum, we genotyped the hexanucleotide repeat region of C9ORF72 in a large cohort of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). A normal range of repeats was found in all cases. We conclude that the hexanucleotide repeat expansion is specific to the FTLD/ALS disease spectrum.
Full-text Article · Mar 2012 · Neurobiology of aging
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: The chromosome 9p21 amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-frontotemporal dementia (ALS-FTD) locus contains one of the last major unidentified autosomal-dominant genes underlying these common neurodegenerative diseases. We have previously shown that a founder haplotype, covering the MOBKL2b, IFNK, and C9ORF72 genes, is present in the majority of cases linked to this region. Here we show that there is a large hexanucleotide (GGGGCC) repeat expansion in the first intron of C9ORF72 on the affected haplotype. This repeat expansion segregates perfectly with disease in the Finnish population, underlying 46.0% of familial ALS and 21.1% of sporadic ALS in that population. Taken together with the D90A SOD1 mutation, 87% of familial ALS in Finland is now explained by a simple monogenic cause. The repeat expansion is also present in one-third of familial ALS cases of outbred European descent, making it the most common genetic cause of these fatal neurodegenerative diseases identified to date.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) manifests with progressive memory loss and decline of spatial awareness and motor skills. Neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) represent one of the pathological hallmarks of AD. Previous studies suggest that the enzyme prolyl-peptidyl cis–trans isomerase PIN1 [protein interacting with NIMA (never in mitosis A)-1] recognizes hyperphosphorylated tau (in NFTs) and facilitates its dephosphorylation, thereby recovering its function. This study aims to determine the frequency, severity and distribution of PIN1 immunoreactivity and its relationship to NFTs and other neuropathological markers of neurodegeneration such as amyloid-β (Aβ) plaques and transcription-responsive DNA-binding protein of M
r 43 kDa (TDP-43). Immunohistochemical analysis of 194 patients (46 with AD, 43 with Parkinson’s disease/dementia with Lewy bodies, 12 with progressive supranuclear palsy/corticobasal degeneration, 36 with frontotemporal lobar degeneration, 21 with motor neuron disease and 34 non-demented (ND) individuals) revealed an increased frequency and severity of PIN1 immunoreactive inclusions in AD as compared to all diagnostic groups (P < 0.001). The hippocampal and cortical distribution of PIN1 granules was distinct from that of NFTs, Aβ and TDP-43 pathologies, though the frequency of neurons with PIN1 immunoreactivity increased with increasing NFT pathology. There was a progressive increase in PIN1 changes in ND individuals as the degree of AD-type pathological changes increased. Present findings indicate that PIN1 changes are a constant feature of AD pathology and could serve as a biomarker of the onset or spread of AD neuropathology independent of tau or Aβ.
Full-text Article · May 2011 · Acta Neuropathologica
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) is a common cause of dementia especially in patients under the age of 65. FTLD has a high incidence of heritability with as many as 40% of patients reporting a family history of disease. Recently, the first genome wide association study was performed using only FTLD patients with a pathologically confirmed TDP-43 pathology. Genome wide significance was detected for a single gene (TMEM106B) on chromosome 7, though several other loci on chromosomes 1, 8, 9, 10 and 11 reached nominal significance. Here we have undertaken an attempt to replicate the association of these loci in FTLD cohorts of British origin. We failed to detect any association of TMEM106B in the Manchester or London cohort either when analyzed individually or when combined. Genotyping of the Manchester cohort failed to replicate any of the loci on chromosome 1, 8 and 10 but did detect association of the single SNP (rs2015747) on chromosome 11. Association was also observed in the London cohort but in the opposite direction. Combining the 2 datasets yielded no association. Analysis of the chromosome 9 locus, revealed strong association in the London FTLD cohort and the Manchester FTLD+ALS cases. These data confirm that FTLD and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) share a common genetic risk factor on chromosome 9p.