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In the first of JNNP's mini-themed issues, we investigate how clinical research is making in-roads in the search for the common and overlapping threads that bind amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). These emerging threads may ultimately provide the cipher to unlock the pathophysiology of both diseases, and in turn produce effective treatments from across multiple disciplines.
In the realm of neurosciences, clinical overlap has become no more apparent over recent years than ALS and FTD. Although ALS was previously regarded as a motor disorder that spared cognitive abilities, it is now clear that a significant proportion of ALS patients develop cognitive dysfunction, and in a minority, overt dementia.1 In addition to motor-onset ALS presentations, a further subgroup of patients may initially present with FTD but later develop features of ALS. While a …