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Prog Neurobiol. 2011 Dec;95(4):636-48. doi: 10.1016/j.pneurobio.2011.04.012. Epub 2011 Apr 30.

Biomarkers in frontotemporal lobar degenerations--progress and challenges.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA. william.hu@emory.edu

Abstract

Neuronal and glial changes associated with tau, TAR DNA binding protein of ∼43 kDa (TDP-43), and fused in sarcoma (FUS) together constitute the pathologic spectrum of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). Most patients with FTLD present with prominent behavior or language changes, sometimes accompanied by extrapyramidal symptoms or motor neuron disease. Identification of FTLD patients with mutations in genes for tau, TDP-43, and FUS lends strong support for their pathogenic roles in FTLD, and elucidation of their dysfunction will pave the way for development of substrate specific therapy. However, there remains no reliable biomarker for early detection of FTLD or prediction of underlying FTLD pathologic change. Clinical syndromes usually reflects the earliest affected brain regions where atrophy can be visualized on structural MRI, but neither clinical nor structural imaging-based biomarkers has been accurately correlated with underlying pathology on the individual patient level. Biochemical markers in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) have also been investigated in FTLD and related disorders, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). However, their accuracy and pathologic significance need to be confirmed in future multi-center studies. Here we review the progress made in FTLD biomarkers, including clinical phenotype/feature characterization, neuropsychological analysis, CSF and plasma analytes, and patterns of brain atrophy and network dysfunction detectable on brain imaging. Given the pathologic overlap of FTLD with ALS and PSP, collaboration with specialists in those fields will be essential in the translation of promising FTLD biomarkers into clinical practice.

PMID:
21554923
PMCID:
PMC3173583
DOI:
10.1016/j.pneurobio.2011.04.012
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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