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Folia Neuropathol. 2016;54(2):137-48.

Survival in the pre-senile dementia frontotemporal lobar degeneration with TDP-43 proteinopathy: effects of genetic, demographic and neuropathological variables.

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Dr Phil. Richard A. Armstrong, Vision Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham B4 7ET, United Kingdom, phone: +441212044102, e-mail:


Factors associated with survival were studied in 84 neuropathologically documented cases of the pre-senile dementia frontotemporal dementia lobar degeneration (FTLD) with transactive response (TAR) DNA-binding protein of 43 kDa (TDP-43) proteinopathy (FTLD-TDP). Kaplan-Meier survival analysis estimated mean survival as 7.9 years (range: 1-19 years, SD = 4.64). Familial and sporadic cases exhibited similar survival, including progranulin (GRN) gene mutation cases. No significant differences in survival were associated with sex, disease onset, Braak disease stage, or disease subtype, but higher survival was associated with lower post-mortem brain weight. Survival was significantly reduced in cases with associated motor neuron disease (FTLD-MND) but increased with Alzheimer's disease (AD) or hippocampal sclerosis (HS) co-morbidity. Cox regression analysis suggested that reduced survival was associated with increased densities of neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions (NCI) while increased survival was associated with greater densities of enlarged neurons (EN) in the frontal and temporal lobes. The data suggest that: (1) survival in FTLD-TDP is more prolonged than typical in pre-senile dementia but shorter than some clinical subtypes such as the semantic variant of primary progressive aphasia (svPPA), (2) MND co-morbidity predicts poor survival, and (3) NCI may develop early and EN later in the disease. The data have implications for both neuropathological characterization and subtyping of FTLD-TDP.

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