Clinicopathologic assessment and imaging of tauopathies in neurodegenerative dementias

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61 Scopus citations

Abstract

Microtubule-associated protein tau encoded by the MAPT gene binds to microtubules and is important for maintaining neuronal morphology and function. Alternative splicing of MAPT pre-mRNA generates six major tau isoforms in the adult central nervous system resulting in tau proteins with three or four microtubule-binding repeat domains. In a group of neurodegenerative disorders called tauopathies, tau becomes aberrantly hyperphosphorylated and dissociates from microtubules, resulting in a progressive accumulation of intracellular tau aggregates. The spectrum of sporadic frontotemporal lobar degeneration associated with tau pathology includes progressive supranuclear palsy, corticobasal degeneration, and Pick's disease. Alzheimer's disease is considered the most prevalent tauopathy. This review is divided into two broad sections. In the first section we discuss the molecular classification of sporadic tauopathies, with a focus on describing clinicopathologic relationships. In the second section we discuss the neuroimaging methodologies that are available for measuring tau pathology (directly using tau positron emission tomography ligands) and tau-mediated neuronal injury (magnetic resonance imaging and fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography). Both sections have detailed descriptions of the following neurodegenerative dementias - Alzheimer's disease, progressive supranuclear palsy, corticobasal degeneration and Pick's disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1
JournalAlzheimer's Research and Therapy
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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