AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 28, Number 3, 2019

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Researchers Define Alzheimer’s-like Brain Disorder

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A brain disorder that mimics symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease has been defined with recommended diagnostic criteria and guidelines for advancing future research on the condition. Researchers at Rush University Medical Center and scientists from several National Institutes of Health-funded institutions, in collaboration with international peers, have described the newly-named pathway to dementia, Limbic-predominant Age-related TDP-43 Encephalopathy, or LATE.

“We proposed a new name to increase recognition and research for this common cause of dementia, the symptoms of which mimic Alzheimer’s dementia but is not caused by plaques and tangles (the buildup of beta amyloid proteins that Alzheimer’s produces). Rather, LATE dementia is caused by deposits of a protein called TDP-43 in the brain,” said Dr. Julie Schneider, senior author of the Brain paper and associate director of the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center.

Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia, causes loss of cognitive functions —especially memory,  but also —results in changes in everyday functional abilities and behavior. In the past, most cases of dementia with memory loss were assumed to be Alzheimer’s disease.

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