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TAR-DNA binding protein 43 (TDP-43) proteinopathy is a common brain pathology in elderly persons, but much remains to be learned about this high-morbidity condition. Published stage-based systems for operationalizing disease severity rely on the involvement (presence/absence) of pathology in specific anatomic regions. To examine the comorbidities associated with TDP-43 pathology in aged individuals, we studied data from the National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center (NACC) Neuropathology Data Set. Data were analyzed from 929 included subjects with available TDP-43 pathology information, sourced from 27 different American Alzheimer's Disease Centers (ADCs). Cases with relatively unusual diseases including autopsy-proven frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD-TDP or FTLD-tau) were excluded from the study. Our data provide new information about pathologic features that are and are not associated with TDP-43 pathologies in different brain areas-spinal cord, amygdala, hippocampus, entorhinal cortex/inferior temporal cortex, and frontal neocortex. Different research centers used cite-specific methods including different TDP-43 antibodies. TDP-43 pathology in at least one brain region was common (31.4%) but the pathology was rarely observed in spinal cord (1.8%) and also unusual in frontal cortex (5.3%). As expected, TDP-43 pathology was positively associated with comorbid hippocampal sclerosis pathology and with severe AD pathology. TDP-43 pathology was also associated with comorbid moderate-to-severe brain arteriolosclerosis. The association between TDP-43 pathology and brain arteriolosclerosis appears relatively specific since there was no detected association between TDP-43 pathology and microinfarcts, lacunar infarcts, large infarcts, cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA), or circle of Willis atherosclerosis. Together, these observations provide support for the hypothesis that many aged brains are affected by a TDP-43 proteinopathy that is more likely to be seen in brains with AD pathology, arteriolosclerosis pathology, or both.
Katsumata, Y., Fardo, D. W., Kukull, W. A., & Nelson, P. T. (2018). Dichotomous scoring of TDP-43 proteinopathy from specific brain regions in 27 academic research centers: associations with Alzheimer’s disease and cerebrovascular disease pathologies. Acta Neuropathologica Communications, 6(1), 142. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40478-018-0641-y
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