Neurobiology of aging

Hippocampal sclerosis dementia with the C9ORF72 hexanucleotide repeat expansion.

PMID 24819148


Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are the main syndromes of the chromosome 9 ORF72 (C9ORF72) hexanucleotide repeat expansion, but studies have shown a substantial phenotypic diversity that includes psychiatric presentations. This study describes hippocampal sclerosis dementia (HSD) in carriers of the C9ORF72 mutation. We compared clinical and neuropathological features of HSD in carriers and noncarriers autopsied at Johns Hopkins. Carriers presented with amnesia, agitation, dissocial behavior, and impaired self-care, whereas noncarriers showed little agitation. The groups were not dissimilar in cognitive or motor dysfunction. Neuropathological examination of carriers showed cerebellar neuronal inclusions positive for ubiquitin, p62, and ubiquilin-2, and negative for TAR DNA-binding protein 43. Noncarriers did not have cerebellar inclusions. C9ORF72 repeat-associated non-ATG translation was confirmed by immunohistochemistry. These observations broaden the C9ORF72 phenotype and place HSD in the FTD spectrum. The amnesic phenotype of HSD, which is consistent with the focal hippocampal atrophy, should be included in clinical categorizations of FTD.