Did scientists just stumble upon a BIG dementia clue?

Neurodegenerative diseases include different types of dementia, like Alzheimer’s, as well as Parkinson’s, Lou Gehrig’s (ALS), Huntington’s, and more.

None of which have a cure.

See, in these disorders, brain cells ultimately lose function and die. It’s a leading cause of physical and cognitive disability around the world, with incidence rates seemingly increasing.

But scientists may have discovered a missing clue…

One that could transform our understanding of these devastating diseases.

A rogue protein

When it comes to most neurodegenerative diseases, scientists know that proteins join together to form amyloids.

Indeed, science has been working on the amyloid theory for quite a while now, especially when it comes to Alzheimer’s.

But researchers recently discovered that—in 10 percent of frontotemporal dementia cases—a different protein is at play: TAF15.

How did they uncover this important clue? With cryo-electron microscopy (Cryo-EM), a new technology.

In fact, cryo-EM is transforming our understanding of the molecular pathology of dementia—and neurodegenerative diseases in general—in a much broader way than previous technologies.

This is exciting stuff—as it opens the door to future diagnostic tests and treatments.

Scratching the surface

Dementia is not an easy thing to deal with.

And when it comes to frontotemporal dementia, many patients and their families are left even more in the dark.

As its name suggests, this form results in degradation in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. Lobes that control emotions, personality, and behavior—as well as speech and language.

Plus, it tends to strike at a much younger age than Alzheimer’s—patients are often 45 to 65 years old.

Of course, we still have a lot of work to do when it comes to dementia (and neurodegenerative diseases as a whole). We’re just now scratching the surface.

But it’s exciting for me to see how the science is progressing. (I’ll be sure to report on any new findings in the future.)

In the meantime, keep brain health top of mind. Eat right, sleep well, exercise regularly, and be smart about supplements.

For more insight, check out my comprehensive online learning tool, my Alzheimer’s Prevention and Treatment Plan. Click here!


“New protein linked to early-onset dementia identified.” ScienceDaily, 12/06/2023. (sciencedaily.com/releases/2023/12/231206115845.htm)