Scientists Discover Alzheimer’s Can Be Categorized into Five Subtypes

Researchers have determined that there are different types of Alzheimer’s after they studied proteins found in cerebrospinal fluid. Alzheimer’s is a common form of dementia. This progressive illness often starts with memory loss and causes patients to lose their ability to speak in its later stages. This greatly impacts their ability to engage in daily activities.

An abnormal protein build-up, which results in the death of nerve cells, is said to be the primary cause of this progressive illness. The death of these cells in turn causes the loss of functions they provide, which robs patients of their ability to reason and think.

The study, which was carried out by researchers from Amsterdam University, the Alzheimer Center Amsterdam and Maastricht University, assessed more than 400 patients with the illness. For their study, the researchers obtained cerebrospinal fluid samples from all patients. Cerebrospinal fluid is normally found in the tissue surrounding the spinal cord and brain. They then tested the fluid for more than 1,000 proteins and compared their findings across the study cohort.

They discovered five different Alzheimer’s variations, one of which was caused by issues with the internal immune system of the brain. The second variation caused abnormally high levels of brain-cell growth, which fueled abnormal protein production. The researchers noted that patients with this particular variation had the longest average life expectancy in comparison to the other variations.

The third variation was associated with issues with blood supply to the brain while the fourth iteration was linked to issues with protein production in the brain. On the other hand, the fifth iteration caused issues with the blood-brain barrier. This barrier acts as a membrane that protects delicate tissue in the brain.

The researchers also had all patients undergo MRI scans, noting that those with the first and third subtypes had significant brain atrophy. They also found that patients with the fourth variation had the worst disease progression.

In their report, the researchers theorized that their findings could explain why some Alzheimer’s medications underperformed or failed in clinical trials. They noted that their findings highlighted the need for personalized therapies for patients with Alzheimer’s. The researchers also called for further research to reanalyze prior trials to test whether some therapies could have benefits for the different subtypes.

The researchers hope that their discovery will aid in the creation of targeted and more effective therapies. The study findings were reported in the “Nature Aging” journal.

For companies such as Longeveron Inc. (NASDAQ: LGVN) that are engaged in developing the next generation of Alzheimer’s treatments, the findings showing that this disease falls into several distinct subcategories could provide key indicators on how best to undertake R&D activities with a higher likelihood of yielding successful drug candidates.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Longeveron Inc. (NASDAQ: LGVN) are available in the company’s newsroom at

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