Posted on: May 14, 2020

Senior Women with Gentle Smile

An individual who exhibits loss of memory, confusion, poor judgment, repetition, and problems with performing daily activities has the telltale symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, right? In fact, what seems like a clear-cut case of Alzheimer’s may in fact be a recently discovered dementia.

Identified as LATE, or limbic-predominant age-related TDP-43 encephalopathy, this diagnosis has almost the same symptoms, however the root cause is another story. Rather than the buildup of amyloid plaques and tangles inherent with Alzheimer’s, LATE is distinguished by deposits of TDP-43 protein, according to Dr. Julie Schneider, associate director for the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center.

And TDP-43 protein issues happen to be quite typical in elderly people, with as many as one in four older adults over age 85 impacted enough to cause recognizable thinking and/or memory issues. However, it continues to be an under-diagnosed condition, which could lead to mis-diagnoses, and therefore, inappropriate treatment plans.

The most up-to-date guidelines call for seniors who have been identified as having LATE to be pulled from Alzheimer’s medication research, focusing research instead on establishing biomarkers to better diagnose LATE, to find therapeutic intervention methods, and to increase testing to include a broader array of diverse populations, in order to improve both prevention and treatment.

Understanding the differences between both forms 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 aspects of LATE include:

  • Primarily impacting older adults over age 80
  • A much slower advancement than Alzheimer’s
  • Typically only affects memory
  • Could be combined with Alzheimer’s disease, which leads to a far more rapid decline

Whether Alzheimer’s disease, LATE, or another form of dementia, Alivity Care Advocates can help match you with in-home care providers that offer fully customized, skilled and creative home healthcare. Our network of top-quality providers helps older adults live the highest possible quality of life where it is most comfortable: at home. Let our highly-trained and experienced team of professionals help you manage the various challenges experienced in each stage of dementia.

Email or call us any time at (248) 375-9125 to inquire about additional dementia care or geriatric resources, find answers to the questions you have, or even schedule a time to meet with us to discover more about how we can help someone you love with dementia.