White matter hyperintensity correlates in frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer’s disease

Takeaway

  • Increased white matter hyperintensities (WMH) are frequent in behavioral-variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and are partly independent of vascular pathology, but associated with neurodegenerative processes.

Why this matters

  • WMH are common with age and thought to reflect small vessel disease, but studies suggest that in both AD and some variants of FTD, they may, instead, reflect disease pathology; however, few studies have explored this association, particularly in light of cognitive deficit.

  • WMH are implicated in multiple processes in both bvFTD and AD; however, further analyses in larger cohorts with available autopsy data, and in studies utilizing a longitudinal design, will be beneficial for clarification.