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Dr Gowell and his colleagues, in their detailed and vivid description of a young-onset case of frontotemporal dementia (FTD) associated with FUS pathology, have missed a trick. They point out the frontal atrophy that is evident in the patient’s brain MRI (figure 1), but have not commented on the bilateral caudate head atrophy that is also present. This is best appreciated in the third image from the left in the upper row of images (coronal, T1-weighted). This MRI characteristic is a tell-tale sign in FUS-associated FTD (ref). The differential for the presence of caudate head atrophy in brain MRI scans is not wide (also present in Huntington’s disease and neuroacathocytosis), so its presence in the context of progressive dementia with predominant frontal lobe dysfunction in the absence of movement disorder should alert the clinician to this possibility. Having a “second look” at the imaging is always worth doing!
Josephs KA, Whitwell JL, Parisi JE, et al. Caudate atrophy on MRI is a characteristic feature of FTLD-FUS. Eur J Neurol 2010;17(7):969-975.