In total, approximately 20,000 people in Sweden are diagnosed each year with some form of dementia. About 1,000 of these suffer from the frontotemporal type. Those with this type usually get sick early, often of working age. In addition, the course of the disease is rapid and the median survival after diagnosis is eight years.
There is no cure or treatment
There are no treatments or inhibitory therapy. Therefore, all new knowledge about the disease is valuable, says Alexandre Santillo, MD, associate professor of psychiatry in the Clinical Memory Research Unit at Lund University.
The researchers scanned the patients’ brains with a magnetic camera. They discovered that the fluctuations and fluctuations of the brain that form during the fetal stage could have an effect on the age at which people develop frontal temporomandibular dementia.
– The specific area we examined is called the gyrus cinguli, the winding belt in Swedish, and it is located in the front part of the brain. Study participants who had an extra fold in this area in the right hemisphere developed symptoms on average three years later than the others, said Luke Harper, an ST doctor in neurology and a doctoral student at Lund University.
The brain is sensitive in the fetus
The researchers behind the study believe the findings contribute to a greatly increased understanding of the disease. It was previously known that genetics is important for knowing whether one suffers from dementia, but the relationship to how the brain develops in the embryonic stage has not been made before.
During this period, the brain is most sensitive, especially to environmental factors. Previously, it was not possible to make connections between fetal development and diseases affecting the brain 60-70 years after birth. So we think the findings may also be important for other brain diseases, Alexandre Santillo explains.
The right brain is affected
Why this anatomical difference appears to play a role in the right, rather than the left, hemisphere is not entirely clear, but those with frontotemporal dementia do experience behavioral changes that involve the right side of the brain. It is already known that the anterior cingulate gyrus in the cerebral cortex is affected by this type of dementia.
Some people with frontotemporal cognitive disease are known to do so because of a genetic mutation, but for the vast majority the cause is unknown, as are the factors that can influence the pathway. Our findings also suggest that differences in brain folds must be taken into account when developing new treatments. Alexandre Santillo says our findings first need to be confirmed in other studies.
Luke Harper has begun work to confirm the findings in collaboration with US and Dutch research groups. The idea is also to check whether the folds in this area of the brain affect how quickly the disease progresses and how long patients survive after receiving their diagnosis.
This is how the search was done:
- The researchers scanned the patients’ brains with a magnetic camera.
- The study included 307 participants between the ages of 27 and 87.
- 92 people with Alzheimer’s disease, 105 with frontotemporal dementia (also called frontal lobe dementia and frontal lobe dementia) and 110 people were control groups.
- Researchers have discovered that the fluctuations and fluctuations of the brain that form during the fetal stage can have an effect on the age at which people develop frontotemporal dementia.
- For those with Alzheimer’s disease, this does not appear to play a role in the onset of the disease.
- The study is a collaboration between Lund University, Karolinska Institutet and University College London, and the results have been published in scientific journals cerebral cortex.
Pattern of prenatal thinning influences age at onset of frontotemporal dementia.
Alexander Santillo, assistant professor of psychiatry and research group leader in the MultiPark Strategic Research Area at Lund University, and chief medical officer of the Skåne Psychiatry/Psychiatric Clinic and Memory Clinic/Skåne University Hospital, [email protected] and Luke Harper, student PhD in Clinical Memory Research Unit at Lund University and ST Doctor in Neurology at Skåne University Hospital, [email protected]
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