Involvement of the caudate nucleus head and its networks in sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-frontotemporal dementia continuum

Michihito Masuda, Joe Senda, Hirohisa Watanabe, Bagarinao Epifanio, Yasuhiro Tanaka, Kazunori Imai, Yuchi Riku, Yuanzhe Li, Ryoichi Nakamura, Mizuki Ito, Shinsuke Ishigaki, Naoki Atsuta, Haruki Koike, Masahisa Katsuno, Nobutaka Hattori, Shinji Naganawa, Gen Sobue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated common structural and network changes across the sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)-frontotemporal dementia (FTD) continuum. Based on cluster analysis using the frontotemporal assessment battery, 51 patients with sporadic ALS were subdivided into three groups: 25 patients with ALS with cognitive deficiency (ALS-CD); seven patients who satisfied FTD criteria (ALS-FTD), and 19 patients with ALS with normal cognitive function (ALS-NC). Compared with the controls, gray matter images from patients with ALS-FTD showed atrophic changes in the following order of severity: caudate head, medial frontal gyrus, thalamus, amygdala, putamen, and cingulate gyrus (peak level, uncorrected p < 0.001). The caudate head was significant at the cluster level using FWE correction (p < 0.05). Diffusion tensor imaging with tract-based spatial statistics revealed white matter changes in the areas surrounding the caudate head, the internal capsule, and the anterior horn of the lateral ventricle in the ALS-CD and ALS-FTD. Probabilistic diffusion tractography showed a significant decrease in structural connectivity between the caudate head and the dorsomedial frontal cortex and the lateral orbitofrontal cortex, even in the ALS-NC. Our results indicated that the caudate head and its networks were the most vulnerable to lesion in sporadic ALS-FTD-spectrum patients associated with cognitive decline with FTD features.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)571-579
Number of pages9
JournalAmyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Degeneration
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - 16-11-2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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