Article Text

other Versions

PDF
Is pathology-specific diagnosis of the dementia possible in life?
  1. John R Hodges
  1. Correspondence to Professor John R Hodges, FRONTIER, Brain & Mind Centre, Level 1 M02F,94 Mallett Street, Camperdown, New South Wales 2050, Austrailia; john.hodges{at}sydney.edu.au

Statistics from Altmetric.com

Young-onset and elderly-onset Alzheimer’s produce different patterns of brain atrophy while pathological subtypes of frontotemporal dementia remain largely indistinguishable

Establishing whether distinct pathological forms of dementia have anatomical signatures at presentation is monumental work involving the long-term follow-up of patients assessed sufficiently early in their course to allow MRI imaging, who are then enrolled into a brain bank with subsequent successful retrieval of their brains after death. Few places in the world are capable of this feat, and it is no surprise that the article by Harper et al1 represents the collaborative effort of four dementia research centres in two countries. At the heart of the study are two fundamental questions: Is early-onset Alzheimer’s disease (AD) the same as later-onset AD but just in young people? And do the distinctive pathologies that underlie frontotemporal dementia have distinct anatomical signatures?

The former question is more straightforward and goes back to the early days of AD when it was regarded as a rare cause of dementia that affects young people, whereas the bulk of dementia in the elderly was due to simple ‘senility’. The later realisation that …

View Full Text

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Linked Articles