Brain volumes in frontotemporal dementia

M. Boccardi, C. Geroldi, A. Beltramello, M. P. Laakso, Charles DeCarli, G. B. Frisoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective. Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) can be distinguished from Alzheimer's disease (AD) on the basis of clinical signs, and symptoms of greater frontal and temporal (mainly language) deficits, and a relatively spared memory. Evidence of different involvement of the key brain structure has been provided by some studies addressing atrophy in one or few brain regions. The aim of the study was to outline different patterns of atrophy in a number of brain regions in the two diseases. Absolute volumes and right/left asymmetry have been considered. Methods. Atrophy of frontal, temporal, medial temporal and parahippocampal regions were measured using MRI, in 10 patients with FTD, 29 with mild and moderate AD and 28 controls. Volume measures were taken, and comparisons of atrophy were made based on w-scores (standardized distance of observed from predicted values on the basis of age and intracranial area). Results. Frontal lobe atrophy was greater in FTD than controls, and left frontal atrophy was also greater than in AD patients. FTD and AD were both more at- rophic than controls in the temporal lobes and horns, but a large asymmetry in temporal horn atrophy differentiated the two groups, atrophy being greater to the left in FTD. Hippocampus and entorhinal cortices were similarly affected in AD and FTD. The parahippocampal gyrus was atrophic in AD, while it was spared in FTD. Conclusion. The comparisons showed clearly different patterns of atrophy in AD and FTD, with a striking asymmetric change in the temporal horns of the latter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNeurological Sciences
Issue number4 SUPPL.
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology


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