Researchers reveal a marker and new testing tool of frontotemporal dementia that may help distinguish this condition from Alzheimer’s disease.
Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a less common form of dementia than Alzheimer’s. Sometimes called Pick’s disease or frontal lobe dementia, this condition occurs when brain cells in the frontal or temporal lobes of the brain, or both, become damaged.
The frontal lobes of a person’s brain are responsible for problem-solving, planning, emotional control, and behavior.
Removal of a regulatory gene called LSD1 in adult mice induces changes in gene activity that that look unexpectedly like Alzheimer’s disease, scientists have discovered.
Researchers also discovered that LSD1 protein is perturbed in brain samples from humans with Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Based on their findings in human patients and mice, the research team is proposing LSD1 as a central player in these neurodegenerative diseases and a drug target.
The results are scheduled for publication in Nature Communications.
A new method may help determine whether a person has Alzheimer’s disease or frontotemporal dementia, two different types of dementia that often have similar symptoms, according to a preliminary study published in the July 26, 2017, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
“Making the correct diagnosis can be difficult,” said study author Barbara Borroni, MD, of the University of Brescia in Brescia, Italy. “Current methods can be expensive brain scans or invasive lumbar punctures involving a needle inserted in the spine, so it’s exciting that we may be able to make the diagnosis quickly and easily with this non-invasive procedure.”