Effect Modifiers of TDP-43-Associated Hippocampal Atrophy Rates in Patients with Alzheimer's Disease Neuropathological Changes

Marina Buciuc, Alexandra M. Wennberg, Stephen D. Weigand, Melissa E. Murray, Matthew L. Senjem, Anthony J. Spychalla, Bradley F. Boeve, David S. Knopman, Clifford R. Jack, Kejal Kantarci, Joseph E. Parisi, Dennis W. Dickson, Ronald C. Petersen, Jennifer L. Whitwell, Keith A. Josephs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Transactive response DNA-binding protein of 43 kDa (TDP-43) is associated with hippocampal atrophy in Alzheimer's disease (AD), but whether the association is modified by other factors is unknown. Objective: To evaluate whether the associations between TDP-43 and hippocampal volume and atrophy rate are affected by age, gender, apolipoprotein E (APOE) ϵ4, Lewy bodies (LBs), amyloid-β (Aβ), or Braak neurofibrillary tangle (NFT) stage. Methods: In this longitudinal neuroimaging-clinicopathological study of 468 cases with AD neuropathological changes (Aβ-positive) that had completed antemortem head MRI, we investigated how age, gender, APOE ϵ4, presence of LBs, Aβ, TDP-43, and Braak NFT stages are associated with hippocampal volumes and rates of atrophy over time. We included field strength in the models since our cohort included 1.5T and 3T scans. We then determined whether the associations between hippocampal atrophy and TDP-43 are modified by these factors using mixed effects models. Results: Older age, female gender, APOE ϵ4, higher field strength, higher TDP-43, and Braak NFT stages were associated with smaller hippocampi. Rate of atrophy was greater with higher TDP-43 and Braak NFT stage, but lower in older patients. The association of TDP-43 with greater rate of atrophy was enhanced in APOE ϵ4 carriers (p = 0.04). Conclusion: Neurodegenerative effects of TDP-43 seem to be independent of most factors except perhaps APOE in cases with AD neuropathological changes. TDP-43 and tau appear to behave independently of one another.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1511-1523
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2020


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • MRI
  • TDP-43
  • apolipoprotein E4
  • atrophy
  • dementia
  • hippocampus
  • pathology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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