Dementia is far too common in older adults. In fact, statistics show that there are approximately 5 million people over the age of 65 with dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is often the cause of dementia, but recently scientists discovered that some older adults with symptoms that resemble Alzheimer’s may really have a different kind of dementia called limbic-predominant age-related TDP-43 encephalopathy, or LATE.
How Does LATE Differ from Alzheimer’s Disease?
It is mainly people over the age of 80 who get LATE. Like Alzheimer’s disease, it causes seniors to have difficulty with thinking and memory. However, autopsy results reveal that the brain does not have the telltale changes associated with Alzheimer’s. One of the differences is in a protein that is affected with LATE, called TDP-43. This is the same protein that is often affected in people who have Lou Gehrig’s disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration, another kind of dementia. LATE also commonly causes the hippocampus, which is a part of the brain involved in memory, to shrink.
Scientists still have a lot to learn about this newly identified form of dementia. At this time, it cannot be diagnosed until after a person dies since an autopsy is currently the only way to identify the brain changes that cause it. Right now, researchers are focusing on trying to identify biomarkers, which are signs that tell about the process of the disease.
Why is the Discovery Important?
Researchers say this discovery is important because it can help them to focus their research in terms of both LATE and Alzheimer’s disease. It might also help to explain why some of the drugs being researched for treating Alzheimer’s have not been effective. It also opens the way for doctors to find new and innovative treatments for dementia.
*Can LATE Be Prevented?
*Doctors have identified steps that may help to prevent all kinds of dementia, such as:
*Maintaining a healthy weight.
*Keeping blood pressure under control.
*Eating a healthy diet.
*Dealing with hearing problems.
If your aging relative is diagnosed with dementia, home health care can assist with their care. Home health care providers can be scheduled to stay with the older adult when family caregivers cannot be there because of work, spending time with other family members or friends, and other obligations. While caring for your loved one, a home health care provider can help with tasks around the house, including light cleaning and laundry. A home health care provider can even make certain the older adult eats healthy meals by preparing food for them and assisting them to eat, if needed.
For Home Health Care Services in Covington TN, please contact the caring staff at Personal Care Services MidSouth today!