Different patterns of cortical gray matter loss over time in behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer's disease

Christiane Möller, Anne Hafkemeijer, Yolande A. L. Pijnenburg, Serge A. R. B. Rombouts, Jeroen van der Grond, Elise Dopper, John van Swieten, Adriaan Versteeg, Martijn D. Steenwijk, Frederik Barkhof, Philip Scheltens, Hugo Vrenken, Wiesje M. van der Flier

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36 Citations (Scopus)


We examined patterns of cortical thickness loss and cognitive decline over time in 19 patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), 10 with behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), and 34 controls with a mean interval of 2.1 ± 0.4 years. We measured vertexwise and regional cortical thickness changes of 6 lobar regions of interest between groups with the longitudinal FreeSurfer pipeline. Compared with controls, AD and bvFTD had a steeper rate of cognitive decline and showed faster cortical thinning per year. Decrease of thickness over time was highest in AD and generalized throughout the whole brain, most pronounced posteriorly, whereas bvFTD patients had a more selective loss in frontal cortex and in anterior parts of the temporal lobes. In a direct comparison, AD patients showed faster cortical thinning in the insula, temporal, and parietal regions, whereas bvFTD patients only showed faster cortical thinning in the orbitofrontal gyrus. Decline of cognitive performances was in line with cortical thinning and deteriorated the most in AD patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-31
JournalNeurobiology of aging
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia
  • Cognition
  • Gray matter thickness
  • Longitudinal

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