Pathological ageing (PA) may be the precursor to Alzheimer's disease.
New research, published in the Alzheimer's Research & Therapy journal revealed that the brains of those with PA show similar levels of amyloid Beta (Ab) plaques to those of patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's.
PA is a condition whereby the person shows no sign of cognitive impairment in life but their brains have all the physical signs of Alzheimer's.
"We found a high degree of overlap in Ab levels, profiles, and solubility, between the brains of people with PA and AD," explained Dr Todd Golde, who coordinated the research.
He suggested that PA may be an early form of Alzheimer's disease rather than, as previously thought, a benign form of the condition.
The study claimed that if those with PA had lived longer they may have gone on to develop Alzheimer's.
"We hope that understanding the differences between PA and AD will provide new ways to help protect the brain and promote the development of AD therapeutics."
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