Media Advisory

Monday, June 13, 2022

Forty percent of all older adults and up to 50% of people with Alzheimer’s disease may have LATE.

What

New research funded by the National Institutes of Health shows that the prevalence of limbic-predominant age-related TDP-43 encephalopathy (LATE) brain changes may be around 40% in the elderly and up to 50% in people with Alzheimer’s disease. These credible estimates come from 13 community and demographic studies from five countries and were published today in the journal Acta Neuropathological. LATE is a recently recognized brain disorder that mimics the clinical features of Alzheimer’s disease, which is the most common form of dementia. People with LATE sometimes also have one or more coexisting brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, and in these cases they are more likely to have more severe symptoms.

This new research included autopsy, genetic and clinical data from 6,196 study participants and adds to a growing body of evidence that a variety of disorders and disease processes contribute to dementia. Substantial sample and data contributions came from 10 Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers (ADRCs), which are funded by the NIH National Institute on Aging (NIA), and affiliated studies. Thanks to the ADRC, people donate their brains after death for autopsy research. CCRA scientists provide autopsy results to families and contribute to a national database that provides the entire research community with information on risk factors, symptoms and other factors of neurodegenerative diseases. Brain donation is an essential element of discovery and makes such discoveries possible. Further research is needed in an even larger group of people to fully understand the risk factors and symptoms of LATE.

Who

NIA experts are available for interviews to discuss specific findings of this article and/or overview of the state of research on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, as well as LATE and the importance of brain donation and participation in clinical trials.

  • Eliezer MasliahMD, Director, NIA Division of Neuroscience
  • Nina SilverbergPh.D., Director, Alzheimer’s Disease Centers Program, NIA Division of Neuroscience

The research was funded in part by NIA grants P30AG072958, P30AG072977, K08AG065463, RF1AG072080, K08AG065426, R01AG038651, UF1AG057707, R01AG021055, P30AG066519, R01AG061111, R01AG057187, P30AG072946, R01AG054449, RF1AG069052, P30AG072972, R01AG062517, U19AG069701, K24AG053435, R01AG067482, R01AG064233, R01AG022018 , P30AG010161, P30AG072975, P30AG062677, U01AG006786, R01AG034676, P30AG66509 and U19AG066567.

The NIA leads the systematic planning, development, and implementation of NIH research milestones to achieve the goal of effectively treating and preventing Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. These activities are linked to the NIA AD+SARD milestones:

  • 2.P, “Determining the mechanism of pathogenesis and toxicity of TDP-43 and FUS.”
  • 2.U, “Determining the pathobiological and molecular mechanisms underlying TDP-43 cell displacement, post-translational modifications such as phosphorylation and pathology in pre-symptomatic and overt common dementias.

Reference

Nelson P, et al. Frequency of LATE neuropathological changes across the spectrum of Alzheimer’s disease neuropathology: pooled data from 13 community-based or population-based autopsy cohorts. Acta Neuropathol. doi: 10.1007/s00401-022-02444-1.

About the National Institute on Aging (NIA): The NIA leads the US federal government’s efforts to conduct and support research on aging and the health and well-being of older adults. Learn more about age-related cognitive changes and neurodegenerative diseases through the NIA Alzheimer’s and related Dementias Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center website. Visit the main NIA website for information on a range of aging topics, in English and Spanish, and stay connected.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH):
The NIH, the country’s medical research agency, comprises 27 institutes and centers and is part of the US Department of Health and Human Services. The NIH is the primary federal agency that conducts and supports basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and studies the causes, treatments, and cures for common and rare diseases. For more information about the NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

NIH…Transforming Discovery into Health®

###