Unlike people who have Alzheimer’s disease, people with limbic-predominant age-related TDP-43 encephalopathy (LATE) don’t accumulate beta-amyloid or tau proteins in their brains. But previous studies have implicated a misshapen form of a different protein, called TDP-43, in the condition.
However, misfolded TDP-43 is very common in older adults, and the team behind the new guidelines say that roughly a quarter of people over the age of 85 have enough abnormal TDP-43 to affect their memory and thinking ability.
“Now that the scientific community is on the same page about LATE, further research into the ‘how’ and ‘why’ can help us develop disease-specific drugs that target the right patients,” says Peter Nelson, of the University of Kentucky, who co-chaired the international group that drew up the guidance.
It is possible to have both Alzheimer’s and LATE, in which case people tend to experience a more rapid decline in mental function.
Journal reference: Brain, DOI: 10.1093/brain/awz099 More on these topics:
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