The PPG titled Frontotemporal Dementia: Genes, Images and Emotions? has four Projects and five Cores. Project 3 probes socioemotional function to find optimal predictors using, multi-method laboratory and home assessments to separate frontotemporal dementia (FTD), Alzheimer's disease (AD), and mood disorders (MD), and to define brain regions that underlie emotion. Project 4 aims to improve diagnosis of behavioral variant FTD (bvFTD) versus AD, major depressive disorder (MDD), and bipolar disorder (BD) while studying the value of clinical, imaging, and other biomarker techniques to diagnose the different molecular causes for bvFTD. Project 6 uses novel models of network-based prediction grounded in task-free fMRI (tf-fMRI) to predict atrophy, the spread of atrophy, and progression of the tau PET signal in patients with suspected FTLD with tau, to elucidate disease mechanisms and refine methodology for research and treatment trials. Project 7 studies the language and non-language features of the 3 PPA subtypes svPPA, nfvPPA and logopenic variant PPA and will determine their longitudinal progression and improve their molecular diagnosis. Core A (Administrative and Clinical Core) evaluates PPG patients and collects clinical and biomarker measures. A new group with MDD and BD will be studied with the same measures used in FTD and AD. Core B (Neuropathology Core) will define FTLD, AD, and other pathology in our autopsied patients, while serving as a gold standard for diagnosis in all PPG projects. It will supply samples to basic scientists. Core C (Data Management and Biostatistics Core) will manage and facilitate visualization of PPG data and will offer biostatistical consultation across the cores. Core D (Genetics Core) will determine genetic mutations and risk genes in the PPG cohort and explore the role of whole exome and whole genome analyses and gene expression profiles to predict FTLD and AD subtypes. Core E (Imaging Core) will acquire and analyze MRI and PET images for research studies 3,4,6, and 7 and will use PET combined (amyloid [PIB] and tau [AV1451]) to detect and stage AD pathology and to explore the utility of AV1451 for detecting and tracking tau pathology in FTD.
OVERALL NARRATIVE The FTD PPG will benefit public health through advancing knowledge of clinical diagnostic processes, genomic, basic, translational, and clinicopathological research regarding prevalent neurodegenerative diseases and common mood disorders of aging.
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