Background: Frontotemporal lobar degeneration with motor neuron disease (FTLD-MND) is a pathological entity characterized by motor neuron degeneration and frontotemporal lobar degeneration. The ability to detect the clinical signs of dementia and motor neuron disease in pathologically confirmed FTLD-MND has not been assessed. Objectives: To determine if all cases of pathologically confirmed FTLD-MND have clinical evidence of frontotemporal dementia and motor neuron disease, and to determine the possible reasons for misdiagnosis. Method: Review of historical records and semiquantitative analysis of the motor and extramotor pathological findings of all cases of pathologically confirmed FTLD-MND. Results: From a total of 17 cases of pathologically confirmed FTLD-MND, all had clinical evidence of frontotemporal dementia, while only 10 (59%) had clinical evidence of motor neuron disease. Semiquantitative analysis of motor and extramotor pathological findings revealed a spectrum of pathological changes underlying FTLD-MND. Hippocampal sclerosis, predominantly of the subiculum, was a significantly more frequent occurrence in the cases without clinical evidence of motor neuron disease (P<.01). In addition, neuronal loss, gliosis, and corticospinal tract degeneration were less severe in the other 3 cases without clinical evidence of motor neuron disease. Conclusions: Clinical diagnostic sensitivity for the elements of FTLD-MND is modest and may be affected by the fact that FTLD-MND represents a spectrum of pathological findings, rather than a single homogeneous entity. Detection of signs of clinical motor neuron disease is also difficult when motor neuron degeneration is mild and in patients with hippocampal sclerosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Clinical Neurology