Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a spectrum of devastating neurodegenerative diseases characterized by progressive impairment in emotional and social behavior, language and executive function. There are no effective treatments at present, although clinical trials are being planned. Some forms of FTD are inherited in an autosomal dominant manner as a result of a mutation in one of several genes that have been identified. In this exploratory proposal, we aim to perform a preliminary investigation of individuals who carry one of these genetic mutations but who are not yet showing symptoms or who are showing questionable or very mild symptoms to try to determine whether MRI measures of brain structure or function or other kinds of biological markers might provide information about changes in the brain that precede symptoms. The ultimate goal of this research is to identify biological markers of the degenerative process of FTD that can be used to measure whether potential future treatments can ameliorate the process prior to the development of symptoms.

Public Health Relevance

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a devastating neurodegenerative disease that causes personality and behavior changes and ultimately results in dementia and death. This project aims to work with individuals from families with hereditary FTD in order to identify the earliest changes in brain and behavior to improve early diagnosis and monitoring.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Type
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
Project #
5R21NS084156-02
Application #
8676951
Study Section
Clinical Neuroscience and Neurodegeneration Study Section (CNN)
Program Officer
Sutherland, Margaret L
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
2
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Name
Massachusetts General Hospital
Department
Type
DUNS #
City
Boston
State
MA
Country
United States
Zip Code
02199
Bickart, Kevin C; Dickerson, Bradford C; Barrett, Lisa Feldman (2014) The amygdala as a hub in brain networks that support social life. Neuropsychologia 63:235-48