Could There Be Different Types of Alzheimer???s Disease?

A new study hypothesizes that Alzheimer???s is not a single disease, but instead exists in three subtypes ??? inflammatory, noninflammatory, and cortical. The author of the paper, published in the August issue of the journal Aging, Dr. Dale Bredesen, came to this conclusion by conducting regular metabolic testing on a sample of 50 patients showing signs of Alzheimer???s over the course of two years in the hopes of spotting biomarkers, indicators of disease.

Bredesen???s proposed subtypes of Alzheimer???s are classified as follows –
Inflammatory ??? A proposed subtype classified by high levels of C-reactive proteins. The serum albumin to globulin ratio is also elevated.
NonInflammatory – A proposed subtype classified by normal levels of C-reactive proteins & albumin to globulin, but other metabolic abnormalities are present.
Cortical ??? A proposed subtype classified by early non-amnestic features and a significant zinc deficiency. This subtype primarily affects younger individuals and affects the cortex widely resulting in a common misdiagnosis as atypical Alzheimer???s disease. Cortical Alzheimer???s is very different from Inflammatory and Noninflammatory Alzheimer???s.

Bredesen???s study goes beyond categorizing Alzheimer???s into subtypes and also introduces the idea that Alzheimer???s might also have a metabolic connection. The theory that Alzheimer???s progression is influenced by metabolic conditions such as obesity, hypertension, and elevated glucose levels has been proposed previously by numerous studies in the past. Bredesen???s study acknowledges that metabolic disorders are often present in patients with cognitive decline; however this connection could simply be an effect rather than a cause.

The division of Alzheimer???s into subtypes could be extremely useful to optimize treatment, creating clinical trials specific for each group.
???It may be helpful to study specific groups separately,??? Bredesen says.
However, Bredesen will need to conduct more research to support these findings, for now the idea of different types of Alzheimer???s remains a theory.

To read Bredesen???s study click the following link – http://www.impactaging.com/papers/v7/n8/full/100801.html

AlzTex Admin

The Alzheimer's Association Houston & Southeast Texas Chapter (www.alz.org/texas) consists of families, caregivers, scientists, health professionals, and concerned citizens who are committed to finding a cure for Alzheimer's Disease and to easing the burden of Alzheimer's Disease and related disorders on patients and their families and loved ones.