New type of Dementia imitating Alzheimers disease identified
- by ishani-panda
- May 04, 2019 19:27
The National Health Service (NHS) has confirmed a new type of Dementia has been identified , which mimic the symptoms of Alzheimers'. It came out after a new study which was conducted by a team of international researchers reviewed the existing studies on brain diseases . They later published a statement on how the condition shoulb be researched in future. The research involved experts from 22 universities and research institutes in countries all around the world, including UK, Australia and Japan.
The research resulted in identification of a new form of Dementia , bringing together studies on a protein that damages the regions of the brain. The now identified condition is said to affect almost a quarter of the elderly population and can occur in those who already have the Alzheimers'.The disease is now called Limbic-predominant Age-related TDP-43 Encephalopathy (LATE) .
What is LATE ?
LATE is a brain disease which causes memory and thinking problems, similarly to other types of dementia such as Alzheimer's disease.It's the latest form to be identified, with dementia described as a syndrome (a group of related symptoms) by the NHS, associated with a decline of brain functioning.This type of dementia is thought to primarily affect older people (aged 80 and over), with recent statistics suggesting that 20% of this population have LATE.It becomes more likely in an individual year on year, though many people may not be aware they have LATE - as it can be present alongside other health issues, including other forms of dementia.According to the NHS, the only current method of diagnosing this type of dementia is by examining brain tissues after death.
Difference between Alzheimers' and LATE ?
Although both types of dementia, the two forms of the syndrome differ in their causes - which is the distinguishing factor between types of dementia.The newly-identified LATE is believed to be the result of damage from a protein called TDP-43.This is usually present at the centre of nerve cells in the brain, though the protein can change form and spread into the body of such nerve cells as people age.The more well-known Alzheimer's however is caused by an accumulation of two other proteins in the brain - known as tau and amyloid beta.But despite the differences in causes, symptoms between the two forms of dementia are similar and both types can be present in the same individual.
As well as bringing attention (and a name) to the brain condition, the research also has wider implications in relation to the potential diagnosis and understanding of LATE in the future."The main purpose of the new name and the consensus document is to guide researchers so they can better understand the disease," explained the NHS.
For example, researchers now believed they understand why recent trials of treatments for Alzheimer's may have appeared unsuccessful.They explained that the treatments may have effectively treated the proteins that cause damage in Alzheimer's but LATE may have continued - ultimately making any improvements to Alzheimer's symptoms.The researchers are now calling for further research to help identify and diagnose LATE before death so that clinical studies on treatments can begin.