Walking the walk but not talking the talk, limbic-predominant age-related TDP-43 encephalopathy (LATE) is a newly defined brain disorder that mimics Alzheimer's disease (AD). Both LATE and AD share common symptoms, but the underlying protein pathology differs between the two diseases. In AD, the two major proteins associated with disease are amyloid beta and tau, forming plaques and tangles, respectively. However, in LATE, the major protein is TDP-43, a protein linked to diseases like ALS and frontotemporal dementia.
One-quarter of people 85 and older are estimated to have LATE, meaning that they have enough TDP-43 in certain parts of the brain to impair cognition. The identification of LATE could have major implications for disease diagnosis and clinical research.