Clinical and pathologic features of cognitive-predominant corticobasal degeneration

Nobutaka Sakae, Octavio A. Santos, Otto Pedraza, Irene Litvan, Melissa E. Murray, Ranjan Duara, Ryan J. Uitti, Zbigniew K. Wszolek, Neill R. Graff-Radford, Keith A. Josephs, Dennis W. Dickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


ObjectiveTo describe clinical and pathologic characteristics of corticobasal degeneration (CBD) with cognitive predominant problems during the disease course.MethodsIn a series of autopsy-confirmed cases of CBD, we identified patients with cognitive rather than motor predominant features (CBD-Cog), including 5 patients thought to have Alzheimer disease (AD) and 10 patients thought to have behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (FTD). We compared clinical and pathologic features of CBD-Cog with those from a series of 31 patients with corticobasal syndrome (CBD-CBS). For pathologic comparisons between CBD-Cog and CBD-CBS, we used semiquantitative scoring of neuronal and glial lesion types in multiple brain regions and quantitative assessments of tau burden from image analysis.ResultsFive of 15 patients with CBD-Cog never had significant motor problems during their disease course. The most common cognitive abnormalities in CBD-Cog were executive and visuospatial dysfunction. The frequency of language problems did not differ between CBD-Cog and CBD-CBS. Argyrophilic grain disease, which is a medial temporal tauopathy associated with mild cognitive impairment, was more frequent in CBD-Cog. Apathy was also more frequent in CBD-Cog. Tau pathology in CBD-Cog was greater in the temporal and less in perirolandic cortices than in CBD-CBS.ConclusionA subset of patients with CBD has a cognitive predominant syndrome than can be mistaken for AD or FTD. Our findings suggest that distribution of tau cortical pathology (greater in temporal and less in perirolandic cortices) may be the basis of this uncommon clinical variant of CBD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-45
Number of pages11
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 7 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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