Research Reports - Traumatic brain injury history is associated with earlier age of onset of frontotemporal dementia

J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2015 Sep 10. pii: jnnp-2015-311438. doi:
10.1136/jnnp-2015-311438. [Epub ahead of print]

LoBue C(1), Wilmoth K(1), Cullum CM(2), Rossetti HC(1), Lacritz LH(2), Hynan
LS(3), Hart J Jr(4), Womack KB(4).

OBJECTIVE: We retrospectively examined whether a history of traumatic brain
injury (TBI) is associated with an earlier age of symptom onset and diagnosis in
a large sample of patients with behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia
(bvFTD).
METHODS: Data on patients with bvFTD (n=678) were obtained from the National
Alzheimer's Coordinating Center Uniform Data Set. TBI was categorised based on
reported lifetime history of TBI with loss of consciousness (LOC) but no chronic
deficits occurring more than 1 year prior to diagnosis of bvFTD. Analysis of
covariance (ANCOVA) was used to determine if clinician-estimated age of symptom
onset and age at diagnosis of bvFTD differed between those who reported a history
of TBI with LOC (TBI+) and those who did not (TBI-).
RESULTS: Controlling for sex, the TBI+ bvFTD group had an age of symptom onset
and age of diagnosis that was on average 2.8 and 3.2 years earlier (p<0.01) than
the TBI- bvFTD group.
CONCLUSIONS: TBI history with LOC occurring more than 1 year prior to diagnosis
is associated with an earlier age of symptom onset and diagnosis in patients with
bvFTD. TBI may be related to the underlying neurodegenerative processes in bvFTD,
but the implications of age at time of injury, severity and repetitive injuries
remain unclear. 

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