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Plasma tau is increased in frontotemporal dementia

Foiani, MS; Woollacott, IO; Heller, C; Bocchetta, M; Heslegrave, A; Dick, KM; Russell, LL; ... Rohrer, JD; + view all (2018) Plasma tau is increased in frontotemporal dementia. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry , 89 (8) pp. 804-807. 10.1136/jnnp-2017-317260. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a heterogeneous neurodegenerative disorder presenting clinically with personality change (behavioural variant FTD (bvFTD)) or language deficits (primary progressive aphasia (PPA)). About a third of FTD is familial with mutations inGRN,MAPTandC9orf72being the major genetic causes. Robust biomarkers of the underlying pathology are still lacking in FTD with no markers currently being able to distinguish those with tau and TDP-43 inclusions during life. METHODS: This study used an ultrasensitive single molecule methodology to measure plasma tau concentrations in 176 participants: 71 with bvFTD, 83 with PPA and 22 healthy controls. The patient group included 36 with pathogenic mutations in eitherMAPT(n=12),GRN(n=9) orC9orf72(n=15). Group comparisons were performed between clinical and genetic groups and controls using a linear regression model with bias-corrected bootstrap CIs. Correlative analyses were performed to investigate associations with measures of disease severity and progression. RESULTS: Higher plasma tau concentrations were seen in bvFTD (mean 1.96 (SD 1.07) pg/mL) and PPA (2.65 (2.15) pg/mL) compared with controls (1.67 (0.50) pg/mL). Investigating the PPA group further showed significantly higher levels compared with controls in each of the PPA subtypes (non-fluent, semantic and logopenic variants, as well as a fourth group not meeting criteria for one of the three main variants). In the genetic groups, only theMAPTgroup had significantly increased concentrations (2.62 (1.39) pg/mL) compared with controls. No significant correlations were seen with cross-sectional or longitudinal brain volumes, serum neurofilament light chain concentrations or disease duration. CONCLUSION: Plasma tau levels are increased in FTD in all clinical groups, but in the genetic subtypes only inMAPTmutations, the group of patients who definitively have tau pathology at postmortem. Future studies will be required in pathologically confirmed cohorts to investigate this association further, and whether plasma tau will be helpful in differentiating patients with FTD with tau from those with other pathologies.

Type: Article
Title: Plasma tau is increased in frontotemporal dementia
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/jnnp-2017-317260
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1136/jnnp-2017-317260
Language: English
Additional information: © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2018. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted. This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt and build upon this work, for commercial use, provided the original work is properly cited. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Institute of Prion Diseases
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Institute of Prion Diseases > MRC Prion Unit at UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Neurodegenerative Diseases
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > UK Dementia Research Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10043958
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