Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) includes different heterogeneous conditions mainly characterized by personality changes, along with cognitive deficits in language and executive functions. Movement disorders are variably represented. Behavioural disturbances constitute the core feature of FTLD, and eating disorders represent one of the most distinguishing symptoms between FTLD and Alzheimer Disease (AD). The biochemical correlates of such dysfunctions remain to be defined. The adipocyte-derived hormone leptin is known to play a foundamental role in food intake and energy balance; to undestrand whether leptin could be involved in FTLD eating abnormalities, the present study aimed to measure serum leptin levels in 59 FTLD patients as compared to 25 AD. Serum leptin levels of FTLD patients were comparable to AD patients. Nevertheless, FTLD females showed significantly higher leptin levels when compared to AD females. No difference was found between FTDL and AD males or within the the spectrum of the FTLD patients. Hyperphagic FTLD females showed higher circulating leptin levels in comparison to those without eating abnormalities; no differences were found within FTLD males with respect to serum leptin and food intake disturbances. The present study showed a selective gender difference of leptin levels between female FTLD and AD patients, which may suggest specific cognitive and behavioural networks to be investigated.
- Alzheimer Disease
- eating disorders
- frontotemporal lobar degeneration
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