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The New Disease With Alzheimer’s Symptoms: LATE

Senior woman
Doctors have discovered a new type of dementia that mimics Alzheimer’s symptoms.

An older adult who exhibits loss of memory, confusion, poor judgment, repetition, and difficulty with accomplishing day to day activities has Alzheimer’s symptoms, right? In fact, what looks to be a clear-cut case of Alzheimer’s may really be a recently discovered dementia.

Referred to as LATE, or limbic-predominant age-related TDP-43 encephalopathy, this condition demonstrates almost the same symptoms, however the underlying cause is another story. As opposed to the buildup of amyloid plaques and tangles inherent in Alzheimer’s, LATE is diagnosed by deposits of TDP-43 protein, as reported by Dr. Julie Schneider, associate director of the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center.

And TDP-43 protein troubles are in fact quite common in seniors, with as many as one out of four seniors over age 85 affected enough to cause detectable thinking and/or memory issues. Nonetheless it remains an under-diagnosed condition that could lead to mis-diagnoses, and therefore, inappropriate treatment options.

The most recent recommendations call for people who have been diagnosed with LATE to be pulled from Alzheimer’s medication research, concentrating research instead on establishing biomarkers to better diagnose LATE, to locate therapeutic intervention methods, and to increase testing to include a wider array of diverse populations, in order to perfect both prevention and treatment.

Being familiar with the differences between both types of dementia is key to the proper treatment, and per Dr. James Pickett, head of research at the Alzheimer’s Society, “This evidence may also go some way to help us understand why some recent clinical trials testing for Alzheimer’s disease have failed – participants may have had slightly different brain diseases.”

Key components of LATE include:

  • Generally impacting older adults over age 80
  • A much slower advancement than Alzheimer’s
  • Generally only affects memory
  • May be accompanied by Alzheimer’s disease, that leads to an even more rapid decline

Whether Alzheimer’s disease, LATE, or another form of dementia, Relevar Home Care offers the fully customized, skilled and creative home healthcare that helps seniors live the highest possible quality of life where it is most comfortable: at home. Our caregivers are fully trained and experienced in assisting individuals diagnosed with dementia, as well as family caregivers, to more effectively manage the varying difficulties experienced in each stage.

Contact Relevar Home Care, the experts in memory care St. Clair county and surrounding area families trust, at 1-888-493-3513 to request more dementia care resources, find answers to your questions, or even schedule an in-home consultation to find how we can assist someone you love with dementia.