Brain perfusion patterns in familial frontotemporal lobar degeneration
Objective: Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) is a clinically, genetically, and pathologically heterogeneous disorder. The aim of this study was to compare clinical features and perfusion patterns on SPECT of patients with familial FTLD-TAR DNA binding protein 43 kDa (TDP) and MAPT mutations. Methods: Patients were included if they had MAPT or GRN mutations, positive family history with pathologically proven FTLD in the patient or first-degree relative, or were part of FTD-MND families. All patients and 10 age- and gender-matched controls underwent measurement of brain perfusion using99mTc-HMPAO SPECT. We used SPM8 to perform image processing and oxelbased group analyses (p < 0.001). Gender and age were included as nuisance variables in the design matrices. Results: Of the 29 patients with familial FTLD, 19 had familial FTLD-TDP (GRN mutations in 6), and 10 had MAPT mutations. At clinical presentation, familial FTLD-TDP patients were older at onset (p = 0.030) and had more memory deficits (p < 0.011), whereas patients with MAPT had more naming deficits (p = 0.001) and obsessive-compulsive behavior (p = 0.001). The betweengroups SPECT analyses revealed significantly less perfusion in the right frontal lobe, precuneus, cuneus, and inferior parietal lobule in familial FTLD-TDP, whereas significantly less perfusion was found in the left temporal and inferior frontal gyri in MAPT. Post hoc analysis of familial FTLD-TDP with unknown genetic defect vs MAPT revealed less perfusion in the right frontal and parietal lobe. Conclusion: Familial FTLD-TDP shows relatively more posterior hypoperfusion, including the precuneus and inferior parietal lobule, possibly related to significant memory impairment. Patients with MAPT were characterized by impaired perfusion of the temporal regions and naming deficits.