Convergent regional brain abnormalities in behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia: A neuroimaging meta-analysis of 73 studies

Alzheimers Dement (Amst). 2022 May 29;14(1):e12318. doi: 10.1002/dad2.12318. eCollection 2022.


Introduction: Numerous studies have reported brain alterations in behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD). However, they pointed to inconsistent findings.

Methods: We used a meta-analytic approach to identify the convergent structural and functional brain abnormalities in bvFTD. Following current best-practice neuroimaging meta-analysis guidelines, we searched PubMed and Embase databases and performed reference tracking. Then, the coordinates of group comparisons between bvFTD and controls from 73 studies were extracted and tested for convergence using activation likelihood estimation.

Results: We identified convergent abnormalities in the anterior cingulate cortices, anterior insula, amygdala, paracingulate, striatum, and hippocampus. Task-based and resting-state functional connectivity pointed to the networks that are connected to the obtained consistent regions. Functional decoding analyses suggested associated dysfunction of emotional processing, interoception, reward processing, higher-order cognitive functions, and olfactory and gustatory perceptions in bvFTD.

Discussion: Our findings highlighted the key role of the salience network and subcortical regions in the pathophysiology of bvFTD.

Keywords: activation likelihood estimation; behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia; functional decoding; hierarchical clustering; meta‐analytic connectivity modeling; resting state functional connectivity; voxel‐based morphometry; voxel‐based physiology.

Publication types

  • Review