Towards a nosology for frontotemporal lobar degenerations-a meta-analysis involving 267 subjects

Neuroimage. 2007 Jul 1;36(3):497-510. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2007.03.024. Epub 2007 Mar 28.


Frontotemporal lobar degeneration is the second most common diagnosis of dementia in individuals younger than 65 years. We conducted a systematic and quantitative meta-analysis to examine neural correlates of frontotemporal lobar degeneration and its subtypes and to place the disease in a framework of cognitive neuropsychiatry. MedLine and Current Contents search engines were used to identify functional and anatomical imaging studies investigating frontotemporal lobar degeneration between 1980 and 2005. Studies were included, if they were peer-reviewed, applied internationally recognized diagnostic criteria, were original studies, and had results normalized to a stereotactic space. 19 studies were identified reporting either atrophy or decreases in glucose utilization. Finally, the analysis involved 267 subjects suffering from frontotemporal lobar degeneration and 351 control subjects. A quantitative meta-analysis was performed. Maxima of the studies resulted in activation likelihood estimates. The meta-analysis revealed specific neural networks for each of the three clinically defined subtypes of frontotemporal lobar degeneration, namely frontotemporal dementia, semantic dementia, and progressive non-fluent aphasia. Networks did not overlap as shown by a conjunction analysis, and they corresponded to clinical characteristics. The study relates the clinical features of each subtype of frontotemporal lobar degeneration specifically to its neural substrate. By 'triple dissociating' frontotemporal lobar degenerations into three clinicoanatomical prototypes, the study contributes to placing these disorders in cognitive neuropsychiatry and suggests a respective nosology.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Algorithms
  • Atrophy / pathology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Dementia / diagnostic imaging
  • Dementia / pathology*
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Radiopharmaceuticals


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Glucose