An older adult who exhibits memory loss, confusion, poor judgment, repetition, and problems with completing daily activities has the telltale signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, right? The truth is, what appears to be an obvious case of Alzheimer’s may really be a newly identified dementia.
Known as LATE, or limbic-predominant age-related TDP-43 encephalopathy, this condition presents with nearly identical symptoms, but the underlying cause is another story. Rather than the buildup of amyloid plaques and tangles inherent with Alzheimer’s, LATE dementia is identified by deposits of TDP-43 protein, according to Dr. Julie Schneider, associate director for the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center.
And TDP-43 protein troubles are actually quite common in elderly people, with as many as one in four adults over age 85 affected enough to cause detectable thinking and/or memory problems. Nonetheless it continues to be an under-diagnosed condition, which can result in misdiagnoses, and consequently, incorrect treatment.
The most up-to-date recommendations call for people who have been identified as having LATE to be removed from Alzheimer’s medication research, focusing research alternatively on developing biomarkers to better diagnose LATE, to seek out therapeutic intervention methods, and to increase testing to include a wider range of diverse populations, in order to improve both prevention and treatment.
Learning about the differences between both forms of dementia is paramount to accurate 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:
- Predominantly impacting seniors over age 80
- A much slower advancement than Alzheimer’s
- Typically only affects memory
- Can be coupled with Alzheimer’s disease, which leads to an even more rapid decline
Whether Alzheimer’s disease, LATE, or another type of dementia, Home Sweet Home In-Home Care provides the fully customized, skilled, and creative home healthcare that can help seniors live the highest possible quality of life where it is most comfortable: at home. Our care aides are professionally trained and experienced in helping those with dementia, in addition to helping family caregivers to more effectively manage the varying difficulties experienced in each stage.
Call us any time at (269) 373-5444 in Kalamazoo, (269) 763-5350 in Paw Paw, (269) 849-9252 in St. Joseph, or (269) 963-9888 in Battle Creek to ask about additional dementia care resources, find answers to the questions you have, or even schedule an in-home consultation to find how we can assist a senior you love with dementia. Let our team show you why we’re the best when it comes to elder care in Kalamazoo and other surrounding communities. To learn more about all of the different communities we serve in Michigan, please visit our Locations page.