For decades, experts have focused on one basic idea to understand Alzheimer’s, even though the disease can vary in symptoms and progression from one person to another. New research has suggested that Alzheirmer’s can be categorized into four different types. This new perspective can provide valuable insights into the disease and that can potentially lead to more personalized treatments for patients
In a recent collaboration study involving the US, Sweden, Canada and Korea have revealed intriguing findings about Alzheimer’s disease. Contrary to the belief of a single universal diagnosis. The research has identified 4 distinct variants that can occur in a significant percentage of cases, ranging from 18% to 30%. This shift in understanding is helping researchers in comprehending the diverse manifestations of the disease among our loved ones.
With these findings, specialists are now able to customize treatment plans based on the particular subgroup diagnosed.
In this research, data from over 1,600 individuals were reviewed to understand the Alzheirme’s disease. The study identified more than 1,100 individuals with different stages of Alzheimer’s or without cognitive impairment. Over a duration of 2 years, researchers categorized individuals with tau abnormalities into four specific sub-groups
1.Subgroup 1: In about ⅓ of diagnoses, there is a variant where tau spreads within the temporal lobe. This primarily affects the memory.
2. Subgroup 2: The second variant of Alzheimer’s can impact the cerebral cortex, specifically affecting executive functions rather than memory. It is found in approximately 20% of Alzheimer’s patients
3. Subgroup 3:The third variant is the visual cortex is affected, impacting a person’s orientation to self, ability to distinguish shapes, distance, movement and the object's location in relation to other objects. This variant occurs in approximately ⅓ of the diagnoses.
4. Subgroup 4:There are some cases of Alzheimer’s where an asymmetrical spreading of tau in the left hemisphere of the brain. This variant affects language and is found in approximately 20% of the cases.
In order to confirm the four patterns with even greater accuracy, Oskar Hansson, a supervisor of the study and professor of neurology at Lund University suggests conducting a longer follow- up study over a period of 5 to 10 years. This will help provide more comprehensive and reliable data for future analysis.
Our caregivers at Amy’s Helping Hands are extensively trained to support seniors with any type of dementia, focusing on their strengths and managing challenges. You can contact us at 519-915-4370 to discuss a personalized care plan that will enhance the life of your loved one with dementia.