A recent study found that the spread of a key marker for Alzheimer’s develops in four distinct patterns, each presenting with a specific set of symptoms. The findings could help provide more targeted treatment for Alzheimer’s in the future.
An article in Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News offers a good overview of the study. Researchers focused on the spread of the tau protein in the brain, which has long been a key marker for Alzheimer’s. Studying the PET scans of approximately 1,600 individuals in relation to tau pathology, researchers found four distinct patterns:
- Variant one: Found in 33 percent of cases and primarily affects the memory. The tau spread was mainly found in the temporal lobe.
- Variant two: Found in 18 percent of cases and targets executive functioning. Tau spread was in the rest of the cerebral cortex.
- Variant three: Occurring in 30 percent of cases, this variant targets the visual cortex, leading to a variety of visual processing issues.
- Variant four: Found in 19 percent of cases, this variant spreads in the left hemisphere, leading to issues with one’s language ability.
I thought these were intriguing findings. Of course more research is needed in this area to confirm the findings of this study and learn more about the variants. But these finding could eventually lead to better, more targeted treatment for the specific variants of Alzheimer’s disease.