A Newly Described Form of Dementia Is Named LATE


An international team of scientists is working on understanding a mysterious form of dementia. The symptoms of the condition resemble those of Alzheimer’s disease, but the cause is different. They have aptly named the condition, which targets people over 85 years, LATE.

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New Study Reveals More Details on LATE

The scientists and clinicians studying the disease have recently published their findings in Brain. Investigating the mysterious dementia has led to a number of findings. The disease strikes people over 85, and it is believed that as many as 25% of people in that age group could have the disease.

The study was co-authored by Peter Nelson, who is a neuropathologist at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. He was part of the organization of a meeting held in 2018 when the disease was finally named. The technical name for the little-known disease is limbic-predominant age-related TDP-43 encephalopathy, which is abbreviated to LATE.

The symptoms of LATE include memory trouble and dementia, and this makes it similar to Alzheimer’s. In terms of the internal brain structure and internal symptoms, there is a marked difference. LATE involves an uncommon protein known as TDP-43. This accumulates and spreads in the brain affecting the amygdala and hippocampus, which are important for memory and thinking abilities. With Alzheimer’s, on the other hand, there are plaques and tangles in the brain.

Researchers are working on investigating more into how LATE forms and operate. Presently, the signs of the protein buildup and brain damage can only be realized post-mortem. Clinical tests to detect the disease in living people are not yet conclusive. Diagnosis can, however, be made by the process of eliminating all other possibilities. The team of researchers hopes that their work in identifying and naming the disease can improve awareness about the disease and how it operates. This can help physicians with identifying and diagnosing the disease in their patients.

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