Nearly 40% of older adult brains studied showed signs of Alzheimer’s-like LATE dementia

Nearly 40% of older adults may experience brain damage caused by Limbic-predominant Age-related TDP-43 Encephalopathy (LATE), a form of dementia that is often mistaken for Alzheimer’s disease, according to an NIA-supported study recently published in Acta Neuropathologica.

These results — based on autopsy, genetic, and clinical data — provide further support for the recognition of LATE as a separate-from-Alzheimer’s, commonly occurring dementia.

At first glance, LATE looks a lot like Alzheimer’s. It mainly affects older adults and initially causes problems with thinking, learning, and remembering. However, in recent years, when scientists have examined the autopsied brains of dementia patients, they have noticed that some have a hallmark of damage that is different from the ones typically seen in Alzheimer’s.

Specifically, they found that the brains of people who experience LATE can be distinguished by clusters of TDP-43, a protein that normally may play several roles in gene activity. These abnormal clusters were first noted in frontotemporal dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which are rare neurodegenerative disorders.

Continue reading at National Institute on Aging


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