Medical Care , Mental Health
Scientist's discovery of ‘Primary Age-related Tauopathy’ may lead to new treatments
A breakthrough study published in the Journal Acta Neuoropathologica has identified a new neurological disease, primary age-related tauopathy (PART), which is highly similar to – and commonly mistaken for – Alzheimer’s Disease.
Both diseases cause cognitive impairments such as memory loss, but differ in brain pathology. Researchers are hopeful that this new information may lead to the development of more effective, targeted treatments for varying memory disorders, Medical News Today reported.
Alzheimer’s Disease is characterised by the presence of plaques of a protein called beta-amyloid, and ‘tangles’ of a protein called tau, which proliferate throughout the brain. However, patients with PART only possess the tangles, which are exclusive to the medial temporal lobe, basal forebrain, brainstem and olfactory regions – incidentally, areas of the brain that are closely linked to memory.
Prior to this study, memory-impaired ‘tangles-only’ patients were considered to be “either very early-stage Alzheimer’s or a variant of the disease in which the plaques are harder to detect”, according to a University of Kentucky study.
And yet, in-depth studies have failed to detect the presence of abnormal beta-amyloid in the brains of these patients, meaning that the subjects did not develop beta-amyloid plaques and hence cannot be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
This new information brings two distinct advantages. As with many degenerative diseases, early detection and diagnosis is vital to successfully treat patients before irreparable damage occurs.
"Until now, PART has been difficult to treat or even study because of lack of well-defined criteria. Now that the scientific community has come to a consensus on what the key features of PART are, this will help doctors diagnose different forms of memory impairment early,” co-author Dr Peter T. Nelson of the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging at the University of Kentucky said in a research article published on the university’s website.
“These advancements will have a big impact on our ability to recognise and develop effective treatments for brain diseases seen in older persons."
Furthermore, PART patients may negatively impact the results of clinical trials for Alzheimer’s medication, as these drugs are ineffective against tangles. A more accurate diagnosis may help to improve the accuracy of such trials.
Although the researchers are currently unable to determine how common PART is, studies have shown that of the patients suffering from mild cognitive impairment, which had undergone brain scans and were tested for both beta-amyloid and tau, 25 percent tested negative for abnormal beta-amyloid, suggesting that they have PART.
It is also worth noting that researchers have observed a higher prevalence of PART in the elderly; the reasons behind this remain unknown.
Abdominal Gas, Bloating and Your Diet
Gutcare Digestive Liver Endoscopy Associates.Read more
5 strategies to cope with cancer by CanHOPE
Parkway Cancer Centre’s non-for-profit cancer counselling and support service shares its suggestions for cancer patientsRead more
A new approach against severe asthma
A novel treatment for severe asthma is improving patients’ quality of life by significantly reducing asthma attacksRead more
Benefits Of Physiotherapy
Physiotherapy helps people who suffer pain from injuries or illnesses. From accidents to sports injuries, physiotherapy allows you to strengthen your body and get back to your previous daily activities and pre-injury fitness level.Read more
The End Starts With You: Here’s How We Can Effectively Navigate Through Endemicity
For over a year, COVID-19 has affected everyone globally and countries are doing all they can to curb the spread of the virus. Closer to home, Malaysia is looking at #ReopeningSafely, especially as the country progresses towards living with COVID-19 as an endemic. As we navigate through this transition phase, it’s important that collectively as a nation, we take steps to empower ourselves and our community to not only take charge in curbing the spread of the virus, but also to prioritise our health and wellbeing. We urge everyone to get vaccinated, comply with the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), stay informed, and take ownership of your health – because #TheEndStartsWithYou. Here’s how we can all work together as we navigate through endemicity:Read more
Diverticular Disease of The Large Bowel
Dr Mohd Salehudin Bin Che Zan @ Che Zain, Consultant General Surgeon, Columbia Asia Hospital – Tebrau Diverticular disease is a type of disease in which there are formations of sac-like protrusion of the bowel wall. It affects more on the large bowel as compared to the small bowel. There are two types of conditions of this diverticular disease namely: 1. Bleeding type (Bleeding diverticulosis) 2. Diverticulitis (Infection of diverticulum)Read more