Atrophy progression in semantic dementia with asymmetric temporal involvement: a tensor-based morphometry study


We performed a longitudinal anatomical study to map the progression of gray matter atrophy in anatomically defined predominantly left (LTLV) and right (RTLV) temporal lobe variants of semantic dementia (SD). T1-weighted MRI scans were obtained at presentation and one-year follow-up from 13 LTLV, 6 RTLV, and 25 control subjects. Tensor-based morphometry (TBM) in SPM2 was applied to derive a voxel-wise estimation of regional tissue loss over time from the deformation field required to warp the follow-up scan to the presentation scan in each subject. When compared to controls, both LTLV and RTLV showed significant progression of gray matter atrophy not only within the temporal lobe most affected at presentation, but also in the controlateral temporal regions (ptextless0.05 FWE corrected). In LTLV, significant progression of volume loss also involved the ventromedial frontal and the left anterior insular regions. These results identified the anatomic substrates of the previously reported clinical evolution of LTLV and RTLV into a unique ‘merged’ clinical syndrome characterized by semantic and behavioral deficits and bilateral temporal atrophy.

Neurobiol. Aging