Synaptic density in carriers of C9orf72 mutations: a [11 C]UCB-J PET study.


Synaptic loss is an early and clinically relevant feature of many neurodegenerative diseases. Here we assess three adults at risk of frontotemporal dementia from C9orf72 mutation, using [11 C]UCB-J PET to quantify synaptic density in comparison with 19 healthy controls and one symptomatic patient with behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia. The three pre-symptomatic C9orf72 carriers showed reduced synaptic density in the thalamus compared to controls, and there was an additional extensive synaptic loss in frontotemporal regions of the symptomatic patient. [11 C]UCB-J PET may facilitate early, pre-symptomatic assessment, monitoring of disease progression and evaluation of new preventive treatment strategies for frontotemporal dementia.