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Alzheimer’s Disease is one of the most common brain disorders affecting people, especially senior citizens worldwide. A recent study suggests that there’s not just one but up to four variants of progressive brain disorder.

Characteristics of Alzheimer’s

Some of the defining characteristics of the current irreversible brain condition are slowly declining cognitive capabilities, memories which inevitably lead to the inability to perform the simplest tasks. The more research goes into this condition, the better we get to manage it and hopefully to a cure. This makes the new study especially important to the progress in treating the disease.

A report published on April 29 in Nature Medicine presents findings from an international team of researchers. The researchers included those from the King’s College in London, McGill University in Canada, Skane University Hospital in Sweden, Yonsei University College of Medicine in South Korea, and members of AVID Radio-pharmaceuticals of the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative.

The study titled ” Four distinct trajectories of tau deposition identified in Alzheimer’s Disease,” explains how Alzheimer’s Disease is characterized by tau pathology spreading throughout the cerebral cortex. The brain has the Tau protein, a member of the microtubule-associated family responsible for neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. 

TAu pathology describes the existence of pathological aggregation in the proteins in neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs). These misshapen proteins and how they operate. They have for a long time been believed to be less similar in people who suffer from neurological diseases.

This phenomenon that involves Alzheimer’s cases was examined by researchers with the help of specially developed machine learning algorithms. The machine was trained to assess 1143 brain images of healthy and diagnosed people with Alzheimer’s Disease.

All the subgroups are common

Oskar Hansson, a neurologist and co-author of the study explains four clear patterns of tau pathology that became distinct over time. Hansson adds that the prevalence of the subgroups was somewhere between 18 and 30 percent, meaning that all the subgroups were common and none was dominating.