Four proteinopathies 'common' in brains of older adults

One in eight brains examined at autopsy had all four types of misfolded proteins, researchers report

The presence of four misfolded proteins linked to neurodegeneration is common in the brains of older adults and is associated with dementia and impaired cognition, researchers say.

amyloid plaque illustration

The misfolded proteins — tau neurofibrillary tangles, amyloid-beta, alpha-synuclein, and transactive response DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) — are often seen in older brains, they write in JAMA Neurology.

But few studies have investigated the phenotype of "quadruple misfolded proteins", or QMP, as Dr Erin Abner and colleagues

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