LATE: How This Disease Mimics Alzheimer’s In Seniors

alzheimer's in older adults - memory care burbank ca
LATE, a form of dementia, can be mistaken for Alzheimer’s in older adults.

A senior who exhibits loss of memory, confusion, poor judgment, repetition, and difficulty with carrying out day to day activities has the telltale signs of Alzheimer’s disease, right? As a matter of fact, what seems like a clear-cut case of Alzheimer’s in seniors may in fact be a newly discovered dementia.

Referred to as LATE, or limbic-predominant age-related TDP-43 encephalopathy, this diagnosis has almost the same symptoms; however, the root cause is another story. Instead of the buildup of amyloid plaques and tangles inherent in Alzheimer’s in older adults, LATE is identified by deposits of TDP-43 protein, as reported by Dr. Julie Schneider, associate director of the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center. 

And TDP-43 protein troubles are actually quite typical in older persons, with as many as one out of four people over age 85 affected enough to cause obvious cognitive and/or memory problems. And yet it continues to be an under-diagnosed condition, which could result in mis-diagnoses, and therefore, incorrect treatment plans. 

The most recent recommendations call for those who have been identified as having LATE to be removed from Alzheimer’s medication research, concentrating research alternatively on establishing biomarkers to better detect LATE, to seek out therapeutic intervention methods, and to increase testing to include a wider array of diverse populations, in an effort to strengthen both prevention and treatment. 

Being familiar with the differences between both forms of dementia is key to appropriate 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: 

  • Typically affecting older adults over age 80 
  • A slower progression than Alzheimer’s 
  • For the most part only affects memory 
  • Could be coupled with Alzheimer’s disease, which leads to a far more rapid decline 

Whether Alzheimer’s disease, LATE, or another form of dementia, JFS Care provides the highly customized, skilled and creative home healthcare that helps senior loved ones live the highest possible quality of life where it’s most comfortable: at home. Our home caregivers are fully trained and experienced in managing Alzheimer’s in seniors, in addition to helping family caregivers to better manage the varying challenges experienced in each stage.   

Reach out to us any time at (855) 455-2273 to inquire about further dementia care resources and to find answers to your questions about Burbank home health care and care in the surrounding communities. Get in touch with us today to schedule an in-home assessment and to find out more about how we can assist a senior you love with dementia. To learn about each of the communities we serve, please visit this page on our website