Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology
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REVIEW
Year : 2010  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 55-62

Genetics of frontotemporal lobar degeneration


Cognition & Behavioural Neurology Section (CBNS), Department of Neurology, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences & Technology (SCTIMST), Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
P S Mathuranath
Cognition & Behavioural Neurology Section, Department of Neurology, SCTIMST, Trivandrum - 695 011, Kerala
India
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Source of Support: Dr. Mathuranath from National Institute on Aging (Grant no. R21AG029799), USA, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-2327.74246

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Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) is a highly heterogenous group of progressive neurodegenerative disorders characterized by atrophy of prefrontal and anterior temporal cortices. Recently, the research in the field of FTLD has gained increased attention due to the clinical, neuropathological, and genetic heterogeneity and has increased our understanding of the disease pathogenesis. FTLD is a genetically complex disorder. It has a strong genetic basis and 50% of patients show a positive family history for FTLD. Linkage studies have revealed seven chromosomal loci and a number of genes including MAPT, PGRN, VCP, and CHMB-2B are associated with the disease. Neuropathologically, FTLD is classified into tauopathies and ubiquitinopathies. The vast majority of FTLD cases are characterized by pathological accumulation of tau or TDP-43 positive inclusions, each as an outcome of mutations in MAPT or PGRN, respectively. Identification of novel proteins involved in the pathophysiology of the disease, such as progranulin and TDP-43, may prove to be excellent biomarkers of disease progression and thereby lead to the development of better therapeutic options through pharmacogenomics. However, much more dissections into the causative pathways are needed to get a full picture of the etiology. Over the past decade, advances in research on the genetics of FTLD have revealed many pathogenic mutations leading to different clinical manifestations of the disease. This review discusses the current concepts and recent advances in our understanding of the genetics of FTLD.


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