Coexisting Lewy body disease and clinical parkinsonism in frontotemporal lobar degeneration


To investigate the prevalence of clinically relevant multiple system atrophy (MSA) and Lewy body disease (LBD) pathologies in a large frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) cohort to determine if concomitant pathologies underlie the heterogeneity of clinical features.


All prospectively followed FTLD-tau and FTLD-TDP cases held by the Sydney Brain Bank (n = 126) were screened for coexisting MSA and LBD (Braak ≥ stage IV) pathology. Relevant clinical (including family history) and genetic associations were determined.


MSA pathology was not identified in this series. Of the FTLD cohort, 9 cases had coexisting LBD ≥ Braak stage IV and were associated with different FTLD subtypes including Pick disease (n = 2), corticobasal degeneration (n = 2), progressive supranuclear palsy (n = 2), and TDP type A (n = 3). All FTLD-TDP cases with coexisting LBD had mutations in progranulin (n = 2) or an abnormal repeat expansion in C9orf72 (n = 1). All FTLD-tau cases with coexisting LBD were sporadic. The H1H1 MAPT haplotype was found in all cases that could be genotyped (n = 6 of 9). Seven cases presented with a predominant dementia disorder, 3 of which developed parkinsonism. Two cases presented with a movement disorder and developed dementia in their disease course. The age at symptom onset (62 ± 11 years) and disease duration (8 ± 5 years) in FTLD cases with coexisting LBD did not differ from pure FTLD or pure LBD cases in the brain bank.


Coexisting LBD in FTLD comprises a small proportion of cases but has implications for clinical and neuropathologic diagnoses and the identification of biomarkers.

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