De­men­tia’s tangled web of cul­prits baff les doc­tors

The Buffalo News - - FRONT PAGE - By Gina Kolata

Al­lan Gallup, a re­tired lawyer and busi­ness­man, grew in­creas­ingly for­get­ful in his last few years. Even­tu­ally, he could no longer re­mem­ber how to use a com­puter or the tele­vi­sion. Al­though he needed a catheter, he kept for­get­ting and pulling it out.

It was Alzheimer’s dis­ease, the doc­tors said. So af­ter Gallup died in 2017 at 87, his brain was sent to Wash­ing­ton Univer­sity in St. Louis to be ex­am­ined as part of a na­tional study of the dis­ease.

But it wasn’t just Alzheimer’s dis­ease, the re­searchers found. Al­though Gallup’s brain had all the hall­marks – plaques made of one ab­nor­mal pro­tein and tangled strings of an­other – the tis­sue also con­tained clumps of pro­teins called Lewy bodies, as well as signs of silent strokes. Each of these, too, is a cause of de­men­tia.

Gallup’s brain was typ­i­cal for an el­derly pa­tient with de­men­tia. Al

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