Relationships among tau burden, atrophy, age, and naming in the aphasic variant of Alzheimer's disease

Adam Martersteck*, Jaiashre Sridhar, Christina Coventry, Sandra Weintraub, M. Marsel Mesulam, Emily Rogalski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: Examination of pathologic, anatomic, and cognitive relationships has been limited in primary progressive aphasia (PPA) with underlying Alzheimer's disease (AD) neuropathology. Methods: Spatial relationships between tau positron emission tomography (PET), cortical thickness, age, and naming on the Boston Naming Test (BNT) in PPA with biomarker evidence of AD (PPA-AD) were examined. Results: Higher tau PET burden was associated with atrophy and younger age. There was a significant left-lateralized relationship between lower BNT and more atrophy, and between lower BNT and increased tau burden. Variance in naming was primarily shared between tau and atrophy (51%), but naming was uniquely explained more by atrophy (32%) than tau (16%). Higher left anterior temporal tau burden was associated with greater 1-year rate of decline in naming. Discussion: PPA-AD has a similar relationship between abnormal biomarkers as first described in amnestic AD, with differing spatial extent, reflecting the left-lateralized nature of the language network.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1788-1797
Number of pages10
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • AV-1451
  • atrophy
  • cortical thickness
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • naming
  • positron emission tomography
  • primary progressive aphasia
  • tau positron emission tomography
  • volumetric magnetic resonance imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Policy
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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