Distinctive age-related temporal cortical thinning in asymptomatic granulin gene mutation carriers
Abstract Studies in asymptomatic granulin gene ( GRN ) mutation carriers are essential to improve our understanding of the pattern and timing of early morphologic brain changes in frontotemporal lobar degeneration. The main objectives of this study were to assess the effect of age in cortical thickness changes (CTh) in preclinical GRN mutation carriers and to study the relationship of CTh with cognitive performance in GRN mutation carriers. We calculated CTh maps in 13 asymptomatic carriers of the c.709-1G>A GRN mutation and 13 age- and sex-matched healthy subjects. Asymptomatic GRN mutation carriers presented different patterns of age-related cortical thinning in the right superior temporal and middle temporal gyri and the banks of the superior temporal sulcus bilaterally when compared with controls. Cortical thickness was correlated with neuropsychological test scores: Trail Making Tests A and B, and the Boston Naming Test. Distinctive age-related cortical thinning in asymptomatic GRN mutation carriers in lateral temporal cortices suggests an early and disease-specific effect in these areas.