A new form of dementia widespread among octogenarians

In 2019, neuroscientists at the University of Kentucky in the United States discovered a form of dementia dubbed “Late” (for Limbic-predominant Age-related TDP-43 Encephalopathy). The symptoms are similar to those of Alzheimer’s disease, but their origin is different and still unknown. An accumulation of an abnormal form of the protein TDP-43 inside the cytoplasm of cells in neurons is one of the markers of the disease. The treatments prescribed to treat Alzheimer’s disease are ineffective in the setting of Late.

A large clinical study has been launched to estimate the prevalence of this disease in the population. Ongoing, it provides its first results : approximately 40% of the elderly present this form of dementia, and more than 50% among those already suffering from Alzheimer’s.

This newly identified form of dementia affects more than 50% of elderly people with Alzheimer’s disease. © Martyn, Flickr

40% of patients studied have this form of dementia

Some 6,000 brains, in the form of biopsy, genetic and clinical data, were analyzed for this research. The participants were on average 88 years old and came from all over the world. Post-autopsy, 39.4% of patients were affected by Late, regardless of stage; and 54.9% in those who also had senile plaques specific to Alzheimer’s. ” Since older ages are when dementia is most common, Late’s results are particularly important. Although there are many differences between the studies that are combined here, from design to methodologies, they reveal the importance of Late and suggest that our findings will be relevant beyond any country or region of the world. », said Carol Brayneprofessor of public health at the University of Cambridge and member of the research team.

The researchers now wish to continue their…

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