It seems like Alzheimer’s but peek into brain shows a mimic

WASHINGTON (AP) — Some people told they have Alzheimer’s may instead have a newly identified mimic of the disease.

Too often, the word dementia is used interchangeably with Alzheimer’s when there are multiple brain changes that harm memory and thinking skills, not just the telltale plaques and tangles of Alzheimer’s.

Tuesday, scientists said a buildup of an abnormal protein named TDP-43 sometimes causes dementia, especially in the oldest-old. Researchers defined the disorder in the journal Brain, one of a list of dementia causes that includes strokes and the buildup of clumps of another protein.

For now, TDP-43 can be spotted only on autopsy. A next step is a better test. Researchers said it’s critical to get better at telling dementias apart if they’re ever to uncover good treatments.

Categories: National News