Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients ≥70 years show smaller medial temporal volumes despite less F-flortaucipir-positron emission tomography (PET) uptake than younger counterparts. We investigated whether TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) was contributing to this volume-uptake mismatch.
Seventy-seven participants with flortaucipir-PET and volumetric magnetic resonance imaging underwent postmortem AD and TDP-43 pathology assessments. Bivariate-response linear regression estimated the effect of age and TDP-43 pathology on volume and/or flortaucipir standardized uptake volume ratios of the hippocampus, amygdala, entorhinal, inferior temporal, and midfrontal cortices.
Older participants had lower hippocampal volumes and overall flortaucipir uptake. TDP-43-immunoreactivity correlated with reduced medial temporal volumes but was unrelated to flortaucipir uptake. TDP-43 effect size was consistent across the age spectrum. However, at older ages, the cohort mean volumes moved toward those of TDP-43-positives, reflecting the increasing TDP-43 pathology frequency with age.
TDP-43 pathology is a relevant contributor driving the volume-uptake mismatch in older AD participants.
TDP-43 pathology affects medial temporal volume loss but not tau radiotracer uptake. Greater TDP-43 pathology effect is seen in old age due to its increasing frequency. TDP-43 pathology is a relevant driver of the volume-uptake mismatch in old AD patients.

© 2022 The Authors. Alzheimer’s & Dementia published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Alzheimer’s Association.