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.
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The NACC database is funded by NIA/NIH Grant U01 AG016976. NACC data are contributed by the NIA-funded ADCs: P30 AG019610 (PI Eric Reiman, MD), P30 AG013846 (PI Neil Kowall, MD), P50 AG008702 (PI Scott Small, MD), P50 AG025688 (PI Allan Levey, MD, PhD), P50 AG047266 (PI Todd Golde, MD, PhD), P30 AG010133 (PI Andrew Saykin, PsyD), P50 AG005146 (PI Marilyn Albert, PhD), P50 AG005134 (PI Bradley Hyman, MD, PhD), P50 AG016574 (PI Ronald Petersen, MD, PhD), P50 AG005138 (PI Mary Sano, PhD), P30 AG008051 (PI Thomas Wisniewski, MD), P30 AG013854 (PI M. Marsel Mesulam, MD), P30 AG008017 (PI Jeffrey Kaye, MD), P30 AG010161 (PI David Bennett, MD), P50 AG047366 (PI Victor Henderson, MD, MS), P30 AG010129 (PI Charles DeCarli, MD), P50 AG016573 (PI Frank LaFerla, PhD), P50 AG005131 (PI James Brewer, MD, PhD), P50 AG023501 (PI Bruce Miller, MD), P30 AG035982 (PI Russell Swerdlow, MD), P30 AG028383 (PI Linda Van Eldik, PhD), P30 AG053760 (PI Henry Paulson, MD, PhD), P30 AG010124 (PI John Trojanowski, MD, PhD), P50 AG005133 (PI Oscar Lopez, MD), P50 AG005142 (PI Helena Chui, MD), P30 AG012300 (PI Roger Rosenberg, MD), P30 AG049638 (PI Suzanne Craft, PhD), P50 AG005136 (PI Thomas Grabowski, MD), P50 AG033514 (PI Sanjay Asthana, MD, FRCP), P50 AG005681 (PI John Morris, MD), P50 AG047270 (PI Stephen Strittmatter, MD, PhD).
Funding included NIH grants P30 AG028383, R01 AG057187, R01 AG042475, R01 AG054060, and U01 AG016976 from the National Institute on Aging (NIA)/National Institutes of Health (NIH).
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in this published article [and its additional files].
Katsumata, Yuriko; Fardo, David W.; Kukull, Walter A.; and Nelson, Peter T., "Dichotomous Scoring of TDP-43 Proteinopathy from Specific Brain Regions in 27 Academic Research Centers: Associations with Alzheimer's Disease and Cerebrovascular Disease Pathologies" (2018). Biostatistics Faculty Publications. 37.