A nonfamilial syndrome is described in two middle-aged men who presented with progressive aphasia without incipient signs of cognitive impairment. In each case, 2 years elapsed before progressive functional decline or behavioral disabilities supervened. Radiologic studies documented asymmetric left cerebral atrophy that was progressive. The structure of the language disintegration was distinctive and not like that in Alzheimer’s disease. Pathologic studies performed at postmortem examination of one patient documented asymmetric cerebral atrophy with nonspecific histopathologic changes. Biochemical studies revealed normal tissue levels of choline acetyltransferase activity, but reduced somatostatin-like immunoreactivity. Since cerebral somatostatin is largely present in intrinsic cortical neurons, while cholinergic innervation is largely derived from the basal forebrain, these findings suggest that nonfamilial dysphasic dementia may be an example of a distinct class of dementia due to intrinsic cortical degeneration, with sparing of the basal forebrain.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology