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Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is the second most frequent dementia, after Alzheimer's, in patients under the age of 65. It encompasses clinical entities characterized by behavioral, language, and executive control dysfunction. Neurofilament light chain (NfL) is a new, non-disease specific, widely studied biomarker indicative of axonal injury and degeneration. Various studies have previously explored the role of NfL in the diagnostic process, monitoring, and prognosis of dementia. The current systematic review and meta-analysis include all the available data concerning the role of NfL in frontotemporal dementia and its use as a potential biomarker in differentiating patients with FTD from (a) healthy individuals, (b) Alzheimer's dementia, (c) Dementia with Lewy bodies, (d) Motor Neuron disease, (e) Parkinsonian syndromes, and (f) psychiatric disorders. We also analyze the utility of NfL in distinguishing specific FTD subgroups. Neurofilament light chain has a potential role in differentiating patients with frontotemporal dementia from healthy controls, patients with Alzheimer's dementia, and psychiatric disorders. Higher NfL levels were also noted in patients with semantic primary progressive aphasia (PPA) when compared with behavioral FTD and non-fluent PPA patients. Further studies exploring the use of NfL in frontotemporal dementia are needed.


Eleni Karantali, Dimitrios Kazis, Symela Chatzikonstantinou, Fivos Petridis, Ioannis Mavroudis. The role of neurofilament light chain in frontotemporal dementia: a meta-analysis. Aging clinical and experimental research. 2021 Apr;33(4):869-881

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PMID: 32306372

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