At this year’s meeting, held virtually from March 3-5, FTD researchers reported their latest findings, safely distanced from computers around the world. Their field continues to inch forward despite facing daunting challenges. International cohort studies have charted the tortuous course of this spectrum of diseases, arming researchers with increasingly validated neuropsychological tests and fluid biomarkers that they are starting to put to use in clinical trials.
Grappling with a rare disease whose variability is daunting, international cohort studies are charting the natural history of FTD. They have discovered biomarkers and honed physiological tests that underlie its behavioral symptoms.
As FTD consortia chase biomarkers, they see plasma NfL and neuronal pentraxin-2—which reflect neurodegeneration—change before symptoms. Trials nudge progranulin and poly-DP. Still needed: more markers of the pathophysiology that unfolds in the brain.
International cohort studies reveal that the brain starts to shrink, and neural connections to crumble, many years before FTD symptoms arise. Where and when those changes occur depends on the offending mutation.
People with FTD wrestle with behavioral, cognitive, language, and motor impairments. Scientists are designing standardized tests that capture such symptoms.
Disturbed social and emotional cognition are among the most troubling features of FTD. They, too, can be quantified with new tools.
The FTD Prevention Initiative merges cohort studies from across the world with a common goal—to execute effective clinical trials for FTD.
At this year’s ICFTD meeting, researchers reviewed the lay of the land of current and planned trials for FTD, with glimpses of how the newly formed FTD Prevention Initiative seeks to coordinate treatment and prevention trials in the future.