Temporal Variant Frontotemporal Dementia Is Associated with Globular Glial Tauopathy

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Abstract

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a clinically and pathologically heterogeneous neurodegenerative disorder associated with atrophy of the frontal and temporal lobes. Most patients with focal temporal lobe atrophy present with either the semantic dementia subtype of FTD or the behavioral variant subtype. For patients with temporal variant FTD, the most common cause found on post-mortem examination has been a TDP-43 (transactive response DNA-binding protein 43 kDa) proteinopathy, but tauopathies have also been described, including Pick’s disease and mutations in the microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) gene. We report the clinical and imaging features of 2 patients with temporal variant FTD associated with a rare frontotemporal lobar degeneration pathology known as globular glial tauopathy. The pathologic diagnosis of globular glial tauopathy should be considered in patients with temporal variant FTD, particularly those who have atypical semantic dementia or an atypical parkinsonian syndrome in association with the right temporal variant.

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