Corticobasal syndrome (CBS) has been associated with a heterogeneous spectrum of pathologies with an increasing number of reports of Alzheimer's type pathology. There is, however, no means of predicting pathology of CBS in vivo at present. We compared the clinical features of patients presenting with CBS who have either pathologic changes of classic corticobasal degeneration (CBD) or Alzheimer's disease (AD) at post-mortem to identify predictors of the specific pathological processes in life. Twelve patients with CBS were followed prospectively; six had AD and six had classic CBD neuropathology. After review of the presenting clinical features, we identified nine potential predictor variables, compared their frequency in the two groups, and performed a discriminant function analysis. Initial episodic memory complaints and poor performance on the combined orientation-memory subtest of the Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination (ACE) reliably predicted AD pathology while varying combinations of early frontal-lobe type behavioral symptoms, nonfluent language disturbance, orobuccal apraxia, and utilization behavior predicted CBD pathology ante-mortem. CBS is frequently associated with Alzheimer's disease pathology. Early episodic memory impairment versus early behavioral symptomatology appears to best predict AD or CBD pathology in life.
2009 Movement Disorder Society.