May 12, 2020

Senior Women with Gentle Smile

LATE dementia mimics Alzheimer’s disease, which makes it crucial to understand the difference.

An individual who displays loss of memory, confusion, poor judgment, repetition, and problems with performing daily activities has the distinguishing signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, right? As a matter of fact, what appears to be a clear case of Alzheimer’s may in fact be a recently identified dementia.

Identified as LATE, or limbic-predominant age-related TDP-43 encephalopathy, this diagnosis demonstrates nearly 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 recognized by deposits of TDP-43 protein, according to Dr. Julie Schneider, associate director of the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center.

And TDP-43 protein issues are actually quite typical in elderly people, with as many as one in four older people over age 85 affected enough to cause obvious thinking and/or memory issues. Nevertheless, it continues to be an under-diagnosed condition, that could lead to mis-diagnoses, and consequently, inappropriate treatment.

The most recent recommendations call for seniors who have been diagnosed with LATE to be removed from Alzheimer’s medication research, concentrating research instead on establishing biomarkers to better recognize LATE, to locate therapeutic intervention methods, and to expand testing to include a wider variety of diverse populations, in an effort to increase both prevention and treatment.

Understanding the differences between both types of dementia is vital to the best treatment, and according to 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:

  • Mainly 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 some other form of dementia, Continuum offers the fully customized, skilled and creative assistance that can help seniors live the best possible quality of life where it’s most comfortable: at home. Our care aides are thoroughly trained and experienced in assisting those with dementia, in addition to helping family caregivers, to better manage the varying challenges experienced in each stage.

Contact us now at (314) 863-9912 or (636) 861-3336 to ask about additional dementia care resources, discover answers to your questions, or to schedule an in-home consultation to find out more about dementia care and companion care St. Louis and the surrounding communities[CC8]  trust.