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Rapidly progressive atypical parkinsonism associated with frontotemporal lobar degeneration and motor neuron disease


Objective To report the rare but distinct clinical and neuropathological phenotype of non-familial, rapidly progressive parkinsonism and dementia associated with frontotemporal lobar degeneration with motor neuron disease (FTLD-MND).

Methods Subjects included two 70-year-old women presenting with rapidly progressive severe postural instability, axial-predominant parkinsonism, oculomotor dysfunction and frontal-predominant dementia with language impairment and pseudobulbar palsy. One had diffuse weakness without signs of lower motor neuron disease. Post-mortem evaluations included immunohistochemistry with antiphospho-TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) and genetic analysis of the TARDBP and PGRN genes.

Results Subjects died within 14 months from symptom onset. TDP-43-positive neuronal intracytoplasmic inclusions were prominent in the primary motor cortex, granule cell layer of the hippocampus, and several cranial and spinal cord nuclei. TDP-43 globular glial inclusions (GGI) were identified in one case. There were no mutations in PGRN or TARDBP genes.

Conclusions FTLD-MND due to TDP-43-proteinopathy should be considered in patients with rapidly progressive parkinsonism and dementia phenotype, especially when aphasia and/or weakness are also present.

  • Frontotemporal lobar degeneration
  • atypical parkinsonism
  • dementia
  • TDP-43
  • globular glial inclusions
  • oligodendrogliopathy

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