Motor neurone disease-inclusion dementia

Neurodegeneration. 1996 Dec;5(4):339-50. doi: 10.1006/neur.1996.0046.


We describe nine patients, five women and four men (age at death 58-83 years), who developed isolated progressive frontotemporal dementia over 4 to 12 years. These cases represent nine of the 385 (2.3%) cases from a series of autopsy cases of dementia in a large teaching hospital. One had a mother with a history of frontotemporal dementia and marked frontal lobe atrophy. Another had multiple affected family members with frontotemporal dementia, motor neurone disease or both. None of the nine had clinical evidence of either an upper or lower motor neurone disorder. In each case neuropathological examination revealed cortical pathology identical to that described previously as typical of dementia associated with motor neurone disease. There was variable macroscopic atrophy and neuronal loss in the frontal and temporal lobes. All cases had cortical microvacuolation, in seven limited to cortical layer II, and transcortical in two. There was variable cortical and subcortical gliosis. Intraneuronal ubiquitin-immunoreactive inclusions, characteristic of the extra-motor involvement of motor neurone disease, were found in the hippocampal dentate granule cells and residual neurones in layer II of the frontotemporal cortex of all cases. Similar inclusions were also seen in the nucleus ambiguus of three cases. The hypoglossal nuclei showed no neuronal loss, gliosis or ubiquitin-immunoreactive inclusions. Ubiquitin-immunoreactive dystrophic neurites were detected within affected cortex, being most conspicuous in layer II in areas containing microvacuolation. Dystrophic neurites were not detected in subcortical structures. Spinal cords were unavailable for examination because of limited autopsy consent. The finding of intraneuronal ubiquitin-immunoreactive inclusions characteristic of motor neurone disease in patients with frontotemporal dementia, without clinical or pathological evidence of motor system degeneration, extends the clinical spectrum of diseases associated with such inclusions. We propose the term motor neurone disease-inclusion dementia (MNDID) for these cases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Dementia / genetics
  • Dementia / metabolism
  • Dementia / pathology*
  • Dentate Gyrus / metabolism
  • Dentate Gyrus / pathology
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe / metabolism
  • Frontal Lobe / pathology
  • Humans
  • Inclusion Bodies / metabolism
  • Inclusion Bodies / ultrastructure*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Neuron Disease / genetics
  • Motor Neuron Disease / metabolism
  • Motor Neuron Disease / pathology*
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Pedigree
  • Temporal Lobe / metabolism
  • Temporal Lobe / pathology
  • Ubiquitins / metabolism


  • Ubiquitins