Advancing knowledge of FTD by using a range of research methods
FTD is varied in the way it presents. Some patients have changes in behaviour and personality while others have progressive loss of language ability (aphasia). The underlying brain pathology is also heterogeneous. Some show tau-positive inclusion pathology in neurones while others deposit another protein (TDP-43). In a third of cases, genetic factors play a major role and, to date, and a number of gene mutations have been discovered (tau, progranulin and C9orf72). Compared to Alzheimer’s disease, much less is known about the clinical course, impact, and cellular changes. Professor Hodges and his team of researchers aim to advance knowledge on a broad front by using a range of research methods (neuropsychology, behavioural measures, brain imaging, etc) to improve the care, management, and, ultimately, the treatment of this disease. Research on FTD lends itself to a multidisciplinary approach. We also work closely with the neuropathology group at NeuRA led by prof Glenda Halliday and with the motor neuron disease group at University of Sydney led by Professor Matthew Kiernan.