We investigated the ability of cortical and subcortical gray matter (GM) atrophy in combination with white matter (WM) integrity to distinguish behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) from Alzheimer's disease (AD) and from controls using voxel-based morphometry, subcortical structure segmentation, and tract-based spatial statistics. To determine which combination of MR markers differentiated the three groups with the highest accuracy, we conducted discriminant function analyses. Adjusted for age, sex and center, both types of dementia had more GM atrophy, lower fractional anisotropy (FA) and higher mean (MD), axial (L1) and radial diffusivity (L23) values than controls. BvFTD patients had more GM atrophy in orbitofrontal and inferior frontal areas than AD patients. In addition, caudate nucleus and nucleus accumbens were smaller in bvFTD than in AD. FA values were lower; MD, L1 and L23 values were higher, especially in frontal areas of the brain for bvFTD compared to AD patients. The combination of cortical GM, hippocampal volume and WM integrity measurements, classified 97-100% of controls, 81-100% of AD and 67-75% of bvFTD patients correctly. Our results suggest that WM integrity measures add complementary information to measures of GM atrophy, thereby improving the classification between AD and bvFTD.

Alzheimer's disease, Diagnosis, Discriminant analyses, Frontotemporal dementia, Gray matter atrophy, White matter integrity
dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nicl.2015.08.022, hdl.handle.net/1765/87397
NeuroImage: Clinical
Department of Neurology

Möller, C, Hafkemeijer, A, Pijnenburg, Y.A.L, Rombouts, S.A.R.B, van der Grond, J, Dopper, E.G.P, … van der Flier, W.M. (2015). Joint assessment of white matter integrity, cortical and subcortical atrophy to distinguish AD from behavioral variant FTD: A two-center study. NeuroImage: Clinical, 9, 418–429. doi:10.1016/j.nicl.2015.08.022