Scientists from the University of Kentucky found the most definitive assessment yet of the prevalence of a form of dementia classified in 2019 and now known as LATE.
They found that the prevalence of brain changes from LATE may be roughly 40% in older adults and as high as 50% in people with Alzheimer’s disease.
The research is published in Acta Neuropathologica and was conducted by Pete Nelson et al.
In 2019 the team named this new form of dementia named limbic-predominant age-related TDP-43 encephalopathy (LATE).
The data for this new research came from 13 existing community and population-based study cohorts. The study included autopsy, genetic and clinical data from more than 6,000 brains.
Five different countries across three continents are represented in the samples and data. The results indicated that more than a third of the brains had LATE pathology.
Symptoms of LATE mimic Alzheimer’s disease by causing memory loss and problems with thinking and reasoning in old age.
But researchers found the LATE-affected brain looks different from the Alzheimer’s brain, and the therapies that may work for one probably would not work for the other.
While there have been prior reports about LATE from individual research centers and from various groups, there has not been a prior study bringing together findings from many community-based autopsy cohorts.
The team says that ultimately this study helps indicate that LATE is an extremely common contributor to the devastating clinical syndrome that is often referred to as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
While looking at the findings, the researchers showed that LATE was even more common in brains with severe Alzheimer’s disease neuropathologic change (ADNC)—over half of severe ADNC cases also had LATE.
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