Research Grant

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Researchers: Prof Jillian Kril (Principal investigator) ,  Dr Helen Creasey Prof Gary Halliday

Brief description Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is one of the non-Alzheimer dementias which accounts for between 12 and 20% of all dementia and as much as 50% of early onset dementia. It is characterised by marked behavioural change and thus patients with this disease present a major management challenge. The cause of FTD is unknown and at present there is no effective treatment for the disease. There are a number of different clinical subtypes of FTD, namely behavioural variant, language variant, and FTD with motor neuron disease (FTD+MND). Similarly there are pathological subtypes of FTD (Pick's disease, frontotemporal lobar degeneration and FTD with ubiquitin-positive MND inclusions). However, there appears to be little correspondence between these two subdivisions. The purpose of this study is to investigate the pathological differences and similarities between the different clinical subtypes of FTD. Furthermore, we will investigate the changes in brain atrophy which occur over the course of the disease to allow us to understand better the initial focus of the disease. We will also evaluate the role of cellular protein changes (ubiquitin and tau) in the pathogenesis of neuronal death. This research will allow us (i) to better diagnose and characterise FTD and (ii) establish any common mechanisms of neurodegeneration in the subtypes of FTD.

Funding Amount $AUD 417,750.00

Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants

Notes Standard Project Grant

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