98 research outputs found

    Network structure and transcriptomic vulnerability shape atrophy in frontotemporal dementia

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    Connections among brain regions allow pathological perturbations to spread from a single source region to multiple regions. Patterns of neurodegeneration in multiple diseases, including behavioural variant of frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), resemble the large-scale functional systems, but how bvFTD-related atrophy patterns relate to structural network organization remains unknown. Here we investigate whether neurodegeneration patterns in sporadic and genetic bvFTD are conditioned by connectome architecture. Regional atrophy patterns were estimated in both genetic bvFTD (75 patients, 247 controls) and sporadic bvFTD (70 patients, 123 controls). First, we identified distributed atrophy patterns in bvFTD, mainly targeting areas associated with the limbic intrinsic network and insular cytoarchitectonic class. Regional atrophy was significantly correlated with atrophy of structurally- and functionally-connected neighbours, demonstrating that network structure shapes atrophy patterns. The anterior insula was identified as the predominant group epicentre of brain atrophy using data-driven and simulation-based methods, with some secondary regions in frontal ventromedial and antero-medial temporal areas. We found that FTD-related genes, namely C9orf72 and TARDBP, confer local transcriptomic vulnerability to the disease, modulating the propagation of pathology through the connectome. Collectively, our results demonstrate that atrophy patterns in sporadic and genetic bvFTD are jointly shaped by global connectome architecture and local transcriptomic vulnerability, providing an explanation as to how heterogenous pathological entities can lead to the same clinical syndrome

    Structural MRI predicts clinical progression in presymptomatic genetic frontotemporal dementia: findings from the GENetic Frontotemporal dementia Initiative (GENFI) cohort

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    Abstract Biomarkers that can predict disease progression in individuals with genetic frontotemporal dementia are urgently needed. We aimed to identify whether baseline MRI-based grey and white matter abnormalities are associated with different clinical progression profiles in presymptomatic mutation carriers in the GENetic Frontotemporal dementia Initiative. 387 mutation carriers were included (160 GRN, 160 C9orf72, 67 MAPT), together with 240 non-carrier cognitively normal controls. Cortical and subcortical grey matter volumes were generated using automated parcellation methods on volumetric 3‚ÄÖT T1-weighted MRI scans, while white matter characteristics were estimated using diffusion tensor imaging. Mutation carriers were divided into two disease stages based on their global CDR¬ģ+NACC-FTLD score: presymptomatic (0 or 0.5) and fully symptomatic (1 or greater). W-scores in each grey matter volumes and white matter diffusion measures were computed to quantify the degree of abnormality compared to controls for each presymptomatic carrier, adjusting for their age, sex, total intracranial volume, and scanner type. Presymptomatic carriers were classified as ‚Äúnormal‚ÄĚ or ‚Äúabnormal‚ÄĚ based on whether their grey matter volume and white matter diffusion measure w-scores were above or below the cut point corresponding to the 10th percentile of the controls. We then compared the change in disease severity between baseline and one year later in both the ‚Äúnormal‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúabnormal‚ÄĚ groups within each genetic subtype, as measured by the CDR¬ģ+NACC-FTLD sum-of-boxes score and revised Cambridge Behavioural Inventory total score. Overall, presymptomatic carriers with normal regional w-scores at baseline did not progress clinically as much as those with abnormal regional w-scores. Having abnormal grey or white matter measures at baseline was associated with a statistically significant increase in the CDR¬ģ+NACC-FTLD of up to 4 points in C9orf72 expansion carriers, and 5 points in the GRN group as well as a statistically significant increase in the revised Cambridge Behavioural Inventory of up to 11 points in MAPT, 10 points in GRN, and 8 points in C9orf72 mutation carriers. Baseline regional brain abnormalities on MRI in presymptomatic mutation carriers are associated with different profiles of clinical progression over time. These results may be helpful to inform stratification of participants in future trials

    Neurodevelopmental effects of genetic frontotemporal dementia in young adult mutation carriers

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    ¬© The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. All rights reserved.While frontotemporal dementia has been considered a neurodegenerative disease that starts in mid-life or later, it is now clearly established that cortical and subcortical volume loss is observed more than a decade prior to symptom onset and progresses with ageing. To test the hypothesis that genetic mutations causing frontotemporal dementia have neurodevelopmental consequences, we examined the youngest adults in the GENFI cohort of pre-symptomatic frontotemporal dementia mutation carriers who are between 19 and 30 years of age. Structural brain differences and improved performance on some cognitive tests were found for MAPT and GRN mutation carriers relative to familial non-carriers, while smaller volumes were observed in C9orf72 repeat expansion carriers at a mean age of 26 years. The detection of such early differences supports potential advantageous neurodevelopmental consequences of some frontotemporal dementia-causing genetic mutations. These results have implications for the design of therapeutic interventions for frontotemporal dementia. Future studies at younger ages are needed to identify specific early pathophysiologic or compensatory processes that occur during the neurodevelopmental period.This project was supported by Canadian Institutes of Health Research as part of a Centres of Excellence in Neurodegeneration grant, and by Canadian Institutes of Health Research operating grants (327387; 452843; 70797). The Dementia Research Centre is supported by Alzheimer‚Äôs Research UK, Alzheimer‚Äôs Society, Brain Research UK, and The Wolfson Foundation. This work was supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Queen Square Dementia Biomedical Research Unit and the University College London Hospitals Biomedical Research Centre, the Leonard Wolfson Experimental Neurology Centre (LWENC), and the UK Dementia Research Institute, which receives its funding from UK DRI Ltd, funded by the UK Medical Research Council, Alzheimer‚Äôs Society and Alzheimer‚Äôs Research UK. This work was also supported by the MRC UK GENFI grant (MR/M023664/1), the Italian Ministry of Health (CoEN015 and Ricerca Corrente), the Alzheimer‚Äôs Society grant (AS-PG-16-007), the Bluefield Project and the EU Joint Programme ‚Äď Neurodegenerative Disease Research (GENFI-PROX grant 2019-02248). M.B. is supported by a Fellowship award from the Alzheimer‚Äôs Society, UK (AS-JF-19a- 004-517). M.B.‚Äôs work was also supported by the UK Dementia Research Institute which receives its funding from DRI Ltd., funded by the UK Medical Research Council, Alzheimer‚Äôs Society and Alzheimer‚Äôs Research UK. J.D.R. is supported by the Miriam Marks Brain Research UK Senior Fellowship and has received funding from an MRC Clinician Scientist Fellowship (MR/M008525/1) and the NIHR Rare Disease Translational Research Collaboration (BRC149/NS/MH). J.B.R. is funded by the Wellcome Trust (103838) and the National Institute for Health Research Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre. This work was funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) under Germany‚Äôs Excellence Strategy within the framework of the Munich Cluster for Systems Neurology (EXC 2145 SyNergy ‚Äď ID 390857198). It is also funded by the Ministry of Health, Italy (S.S.). R.V.‚Äôs work is supported by the Mady Browaeys Fonds voor Onderzoek naar Frontotemporale Degeneratie. R.S.-V.‚Äôs work is supported by Instituto de Salud Carlos III (grant number 20/00448), cofunded by the EU. ANR-PRTS PrevdemALS study funding (I.L.B.). Several authors of this publication (J.C.vS., M.S., A.D., M.O., R.V., I.L.B., J.D.R.) are members of the European Reference Network for Rare Neurological Diseases (ERN-RND) - Project ID No 739510.info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersio

    Differential impairment of cerebrospinal fluid synaptic biomarkers in the genetic forms of frontotemporal dementia

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    Background: Approximately a third of frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is genetic with mutations in three genes accounting for most of the inheritance: C9orf72, GRN, and MAPT. Impaired synaptic health is a common mechanism in all three genetic variants, so developing fluid biomarkers of this process could be useful as a readout of cellular dysfunction within therapeutic trials. / Methods: A total of 193 cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples from the GENetic FTD Initiative including 77 presymptomatic (31 C9orf72, 23 GRN, 23 MAPT) and 55 symptomatic (26 C9orf72, 17 GRN, 12 MAPT) mutation carriers as well as 61 mutation-negative controls were measured using a microflow LC PRM-MS set-up targeting 15 synaptic proteins: AP-2 complex subunit beta, complexin-2, beta-synuclein, gamma-synuclein, 14‚Äď3-3 proteins (eta, epsilon, zeta/delta), neurogranin, Rab GDP dissociation inhibitor alpha (Rab GDI alpha), syntaxin-1B, syntaxin-7, phosphatidylethanolamine-binding protein 1 (PEBP-1), neuronal pentraxin receptor (NPTXR), neuronal pentraxin 1 (NPTX1), and neuronal pentraxin 2 (NPTX2). Mutation carrier groups were compared to each other and to controls using a bootstrapped linear regression model, adjusting for age and sex. / Results: CSF levels of eight proteins were increased only in symptomatic MAPT mutation carriers (compared with controls) and not in symptomatic C9orf72 or GRN mutation carriers: beta-synuclein, gamma-synuclein, 14‚Äď3-3-eta, neurogranin, Rab GDI alpha, syntaxin-1B, syntaxin-7, and PEBP-1, with three other proteins increased in MAPT mutation carriers compared with the other genetic groups (AP-2 complex subunit beta, complexin-2, and 14‚Äď3-3 zeta/delta). In contrast, CSF NPTX1 and NPTX2 levels were affected in all three genetic groups (decreased compared with controls), with NPTXR concentrations being affected in C9orf72 and GRN mutation carriers only (decreased compared with controls). No changes were seen in the CSF levels of these proteins in presymptomatic mutation carriers. Concentrations of the neuronal pentraxins were correlated with brain volumes in the presymptomatic period for the C9orf72 and GRN groups, suggesting that they become abnormal in proximity to symptom onset. / Conclusions: Differential synaptic impairment is seen in the genetic forms of FTD, with abnormalities in multiple measures in those with MAPT mutations, but only changes in neuronal pentraxins within the GRN and C9orf72 mutation groups. Such markers may be useful in future trials as measures of synaptic dysfunction, but further work is needed to understand how these markers change throughout the course of the disease

    Differential impairment of cerebrospinal fluid synaptic biomarkers in the genetic forms of frontotemporal dementia

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    Background: Approximately a third of frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is genetic with mutations in three genes accounting for most of the inheritance: C9orf72, GRN, and MAPT. Impaired synaptic health is a common mechanism in all three genetic variants, so developing fluid biomarkers of this process could be useful as a readout of cellular dysfunction within therapeutic trials. Methods: A total of 193 cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples from the GENetic FTD Initiative including 77 presymptomatic (31 C9orf72, 23 GRN, 23 MAPT) and 55 symptomatic (26 C9orf72, 17 GRN, 12 MAPT) mutation carriers as well as 61 mutation-negative controls were measured using a microflow LC PRM-MS set-up targeting 15 synaptic proteins: AP-2 complex subunit beta, complexin-2, beta-synuclein, gamma-synuclein, 14‚Äď3-3 proteins (eta, epsilon, zeta/delta), neurogranin, Rab GDP dissociation inhibitor alpha (Rab GDI alpha), syntaxin-1B, syntaxin-7, phosphatidylethanolamine-binding protein 1 (PEBP-1), neuronal pentraxin receptor (NPTXR), neuronal pentraxin 1 (NPTX1), and neuronal pentraxin 2 (NPTX2). Mutation carrier groups were compared to each other and to controls using a bootstrapped linear regression model, adjusting for age and sex. Results: CSF levels of eight proteins were increased only in symptomatic MAPT mutation carriers (compared with controls) and not in symptomatic C9orf72 or GRN mutation carriers: beta-synuclein, gamma-synuclein, 14‚Äď3-3-eta, neurogranin, Rab GDI alpha, syntaxin-1B, syntaxin-7, and PEBP-1, with three other proteins increased in MAPT mutation carriers compared with the other genetic groups (AP-2 complex subunit beta, complexin-2, and 14‚Äď3-3 zeta/delta). In contrast, CSF NPTX1 and NPTX2 levels were affected in all three genetic groups (decreased compared with controls), with NPTXR concentrations being affected in C9orf72 and GRN mutation carriers only (decreased compared with controls). No changes were seen in the CSF levels of these proteins in presymptomatic mutation carriers. Concentrations of the neuronal pentraxins were correlated with brain volumes in the presymptomatic period for the C9orf72 and GRN groups, suggesting that they become abnormal in proximity to symptom onset. Conclusions: Differential synaptic impairment is seen in the genetic forms of FTD, with abnormalities in multiple measures in those with MAPT mutations, but only changes in neuronal pentraxins within the GRN and C9orf72 mutation groups. Such markers may be useful in future trials as measures of synaptic dysfunction, but further work is needed to understand how these markers change throughout the course of the disease

    A modified Camel and Cactus Test detects presymptomatic semantic impairment in genetic frontotemporal dementia within the GENFI cohort

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    Impaired semantic knowledge is a characteristic feature of some forms of frontotemporal dementia (FTD), particularly the sporadic disorder semantic dementia. Less is known about semantic cognition in the genetic forms of FTD caused by mutations in the genes MAPT, C9orf72, and GRN. We developed a modified version of the Camel and Cactus Test (mCCT) to investigate the presence of semantic difficulties in a large genetic FTD cohort from the Genetic FTD Initiative (GENFI) study. Six-hundred-forty-four participants were tested with the mCCT including 67 MAPT mutation carriers (15 symptomatic, and 52 in the presymptomatic period), 165 GRN mutation carriers (33 symptomatic, 132 presymptomatic), and 164 C9orf72 mutation carriers (56 symptomatic, 108 presymptomatic) and 248 mutation-negative members of FTD families who acted as a control group. The presymptomatic mutation carriers were further split into those early and late in the presymptomatic period (more than vs. within 10 years of expected symptom onset). Groups were compared using a linear regression model, adjusting for age and education, with bootstrapping. Performance on the mCCT had a weak negative correlation with age (rho = -0.20) and a weak positive correlation with education (rho = 0.13), with an overall abnormal score (below the 5th percentile of the control population) being below 27 out of a total of 32. All three of the symptomatic mutation groups scored significantly lower than controls: MAPT mean 22.3 (standard deviation 8.0), GRN 24.4 (7.2), C9orf72 23.6 (6.5) and controls 30.2 (1.6). However, in the presymptomatic groups, only the late MAPT and late C9orf72 mutation groups scored lower than controls (28.8 (2.2) and 28.9 (2.5) respectively). Performance on the mCCT correlated strongly with temporal lobe volume in the symptomatic MAPT mutation group (rho > 0.80). In the C9orf72 group, mCCT score correlated with both bilateral temporal lobe volume (rho > 0.31) and bilateral frontal lobe volume (rho > 0.29), whilst in the GRN group mCCT score correlated only with left frontal lobe volume (rho = 0.48). This study provides evidence for presymptomatic impaired semantic knowledge in genetic FTD. The different neuroanatomical associations of the mCCT score may represent distinct cognitive processes causing deficits in different groups: loss of core semantic knowledge associated with temporal lobe atrophy (particularly in the MAPT group), and impaired executive control of semantic information associated with frontal lobe atrophy. Further studies will be helpful to address the longitudinal change in mCCT performance and the exact time at which presymptomatic impairment occurs

    A data-driven disease progression model of fluid biomarkers in genetic frontotemporal dementia

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    Several CSF and blood biomarkers for genetic frontotemporal dementia have been proposed, including those reflecting neuroaxonal loss (neurofilament light chain and phosphorylated neurofilament heavy chain), synapse dysfunction [neuronal pentraxin 2 (NPTX2)], astrogliosis (glial fibrillary acidic protein) and complement activation (C1q, C3b). Determining the sequence in which biomarkers become abnormal over the course of disease could facilitate disease staging and help identify mutation carriers with prodromal or early-stage frontotemporal dementia, which is especially important as pharmaceutical trials emerge. We aimed to model the sequence of biomarker abnormalities in presymptomatic and symptomatic genetic frontotemporal dementia using cross-sectional data from the Genetic Frontotemporal dementia Initiative (GENFI), a longitudinal cohort study. Two-hundred and seventy-five presymptomatic and 127 symptomatic carriers of mutations in GRN, C9orf72 or MAPT, as well as 247 non-carriers, were selected from the GENFI cohort based on availability of one or more of the aforementioned biomarkers. Nine presymptomatic carriers developed symptoms within 18 months of sample collection ('converters'). Sequences of biomarker abnormalities were modelled for the entire group using discriminative event-based modelling (DEBM) and for each genetic subgroup using co-initialized DEBM. These models estimate probabilistic biomarker abnormalities in a data-driven way and do not rely on previous diagnostic information or biomarker cut-off points. Using cross-validation, subjects were subsequently assigned a disease stage based on their position along the disease progression timeline. CSF NPTX2 was the first biomarker to become abnormal, followed by blood and CSF neurofilament light chain, blood phosphorylated neurofilament heavy chain, blood glial fibrillary acidic protein and finally CSF C3b and C1q. Biomarker orderings did not differ significantly between genetic subgroups, but more uncertainty was noted in the C9orf72 and MAPT groups than for GRN. Estimated disease stages could distinguish symptomatic from presymptomatic carriers and non-carriers with areas under the curve of 0.84 (95% confidence interval 0.80-0.89) and 0.90 (0.86-0.94) respectively. The areas under the curve to distinguish converters from non-converting presymptomatic carriers was 0.85 (0.75-0.95). Our data-driven model of genetic frontotemporal dementia revealed that NPTX2 and neurofilament light chain are the earliest to change among the selected biomarkers. Further research should investigate their utility as candidate selection tools for pharmaceutical trials. The model's ability to accurately estimate individual disease stages could improve patient stratification and track the efficacy of therapeutic interventions

    An Automated Toolbox to Predict Single Subject Atrophy in Presymptomatic Granulin Mutation Carriers

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    Background: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measures may be used as outcome markers in frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Objectives: To predict MRI cortical thickness (CT) at follow-up at the single subject level, using brain MRI acquired at baseline in preclinical FTD. Methods: 84 presymptomatic subjects carrying Granulin mutations underwent MRI scans at baseline and at follow-up (31.2¬Ī16.5 months). Multivariate nonlinear mixed-effects model was used for estimating individualized CT at follow-up based on baseline MRI data. The automated user-friendly preGRN-MRI script was coded. Results: Prediction accuracy was high for each considered brain region (i.e., prefrontal region, real CT at follow-up versus predicted CT at follow-up, mean error ‚ȧ1.87%). The sample size required to detect a reduction in decline in a 1-year clinical trial was equal to 52 subjects (power=0.80, alpha=0.05). Conclusion: The preGRN-MRI tool, using baseline MRI measures, was able to predict the expected MRI atrophy at follow-up in presymptomatic subjects carrying GRN mutations with good performances. This tool could be useful in clinical trials, where deviation of CT from the predicted model may be considered an effect of the intervention itself

    A data-driven disease progression model of fluid biomarkers in genetic frontotemporal dementia

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    ¬© The Author(s) (2021). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/ by-nc/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact [email protected] CSF and blood biomarkers for genetic frontotemporal dementia have been proposed, including those reflecting neuroaxonal loss (neurofilament light chain and phosphorylated neurofilament heavy chain), synapse dysfunction [neuronal pentraxin 2 (NPTX2)], astrogliosis (glial fibrillary acidic protein) and complement activation (C1q, C3b). Determining the sequence in which biomarkers become abnormal over the course of disease could facilitate disease staging and help identify mutation carriers with prodromal or early-stage frontotemporal dementia, which is especially important as pharmaceutical trials emerge. We aimed to model the sequence of biomarker abnormalities in presymptomatic and symptomatic genetic frontotemporal dementia using cross-sectional data from the Genetic Frontotemporal dementia Initiative (GENFI), a longitudinal cohort study. Two-hundred and seventy-five presymptomatic and 127 symptomatic carriers of mutations in GRN, C9orf72 or MAPT, as well as 247 non-carriers, were selected from the GENFI cohort based on availability of one or more of the aforementioned biomarkers. Nine presymptomatic carriers developed symptoms within 18 months of sample collection ('converters'). Sequences of biomarker abnormalities were modelled for the entire group using discriminative event-based modelling (DEBM) and for each genetic subgroup using co-initialized DEBM. These models estimate probabilistic biomarker abnormalities in a data-driven way and do not rely on previous diagnostic information or biomarker cut-off points. Using cross-validation, subjects were subsequently assigned a disease stage based on their position along the disease progression timeline. CSF NPTX2 was the first biomarker to become abnormal, followed by blood and CSF neurofilament light chain, blood phosphorylated neurofilament heavy chain, blood glial fibrillary acidic protein and finally CSF C3b and C1q. Biomarker orderings did not differ significantly between genetic subgroups, but more uncertainty was noted in the C9orf72 and MAPT groups than for GRN. Estimated disease stages could distinguish symptomatic from presymptomatic carriers and non-carriers with areas under the curve of 0.84 (95% confidence interval 0.80-0.89) and 0.90 (0.86-0.94) respectively. The areas under the curve to distinguish converters from non-converting presymptomatic carriers was 0.85 (0.75-0.95). Our data-driven model of genetic frontotemporal dementia revealed that NPTX2 and neurofilament light chain are the earliest to change among the selected biomarkers. Further research should investigate their utility as candidate selection tools for pharmaceutical trials. The model's ability to accurately estimate individual disease stages could improve patient stratification and track the efficacy of therapeutic interventions.This study was supported in the Netherlands by two Memorabel grants from Deltaplan Dementie (The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development and Alzheimer Nederland; grant numbers 733050813,733050103 and 733050513), the Bluefield Project to Cure Frontotemporal Dementia, the Dioraphte foundation (grant number 1402 1300), the European Joint Programme‚ÄĒNeurodegenerative Disease Research and the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (PreFrontALS: 733051042, RiMod-FTD: 733051024); V.V. and S.K. have received funding from the European Union‚Äôs Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 666992 (EuroPOND). E.B. was supported by the Hartstichting (PPP Allowance, 2018B011); in Belgium by the Mady Browaeys Fonds voor Onderzoek naar Frontotemporale Degeneratie; in the UK by the MRC UK GENFI grant (MR/M023664/1); J.D.R. is supported by an MRC Clinician Scientist Fellowship (MR/M008525/1) and has received funding from the NIHR Rare Disease Translational Research Collaboration (BRC149/NS/MH); I.J.S. is supported by the Alzheimer‚Äôs Association; J.B.R. is supported by the Wellcome Trust (103838); in Spain by the Fundaci√≥ Marat√≥ de TV3 (20143810 to R.S.V.); in Germany by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) under Germany‚Äôs Excellence Strategy within the framework of the Munich Cluster for Systems Neurology (EXC 2145 SyNergy‚ÄĒID 390857198) and by grant 779357 ‚ÄėSolve-RD‚Äô from the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme (to MS); in Sweden by grants from the Swedish FTD Initiative funded by the Sch√∂rling Foundation, grants from JPND PreFrontALS Swedish Research Council (VR) 529‚Äď2014-7504, Swedish Research Council (VR) 2015‚Äď02926, Swedish Research Council (VR) 2018‚Äď02754, Swedish Brain Foundation, Swedish Alzheimer Foundation, Stockholm County Council ALF, Swedish Demensfonden, Stohnes foundation, Gamla Tj√§narinnor, Karolinska Institutet Doctoral Funding and StratNeuro. H.Z. is a Wallenberg Scholar.info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersio
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