Frequency of C9orf72, GRN, and MAPT pathogenic variants in patients recruited at the Belgrade Memory Center

Neurogenetics. 2024 Jun 7. doi: 10.1007/s10048-024-00766-8. Online ahead of print.


Most of the heritability in frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is accounted for by autosomal dominant hexanucleotide expansion in the chromosome 9 open reading frame 72 (C9orf72), pathogenic/likely pathogenic variants in progranulin (GRN), and microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) genes. Until now, there has been no systematic analysis of these genes in the Serbian population. Herein, we assessed the frequency of the C9orf72 expansion, pathogenic/likely pathogenic variants in GRN and MAPT in a well-characterized group of 472 subjects (FTD, Alzheimer's disease - AD, mild cognitive impairment - MCI, and unspecified dementia - UnD), recruited in the Memory Center, Neurology Clinic, University Clinical Center of Serbia. The C9orf72 repeat expansion was detected in 6.98% of FTD cases (13.46% familial; 2.6% sporadic). In the UnD subgroup, C9orf72 repeat expansions were detected in 4.08% (8% familial) individuals. Pathogenic variants in the GRN were found in 2.85% of familial FTD cases. Interestingly, no MAPT pathogenic/likely pathogenic variants were detected, suggesting possible geographical specificity. Our findings highlight the importance of wider implementation of genetic testing in neurological and psychiatric practice managing patients with cognitive-behavioral and motor symptoms.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s dementia; Frontotemporal dementia; Genetics; Heritability; Mild cognitive impairment; Unspecified dementia.