Neuroimaging in frontotemporal dementia

Int Rev Psychiatry. 2013 Apr;25(2):221-9. doi: 10.3109/09540261.2013.778822.


The term frontotemporal dementia (FTD) refers to a group of neurodegenerative disorders that are associated with atrophy of the frontal and temporal lobes, and present clinically with impairments of behaviour or language. Three main subtypes are described, behavioural variant FTD (bvFTD) and two subtypes of the language presentation (known as primary progressive aphasia or PPA) called semantic variant of PPA and non-fluent variant of PPA. Most imaging studies of FTD have used volumetric T1 magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or positron emissions tomography imaging to identify patterns of grey matter atrophy or hypometabolism in these different subtypes, but more recently newer imaging techniques have been used to help define abnormalities in structural connectivity (white matter tract integrity using diffusion tensor imaging), functional connectivity (resting state networks using resting state functional MRI) and perfusion (using arterial spin labelling perfusion MRI) in FTD. These techniques have the potential to improve the differential diagnosis of FTD from other disorders and to provide more informative imaging signatures of FTD syndromes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Frontal Lobe / diagnostic imaging
  • Frontal Lobe / pathology
  • Frontotemporal Dementia / diagnosis*
  • Frontotemporal Dementia / diagnostic imaging
  • Frontotemporal Dementia / pathology
  • Humans
  • Neuroimaging* / methods
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Radiography
  • Temporal Lobe / diagnostic imaging
  • Temporal Lobe / pathology
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon