Primary Age Related Tauopathy (PART): A New Type / Cause of Cognitive Impairment?

Summary

The authors of this article propose the introduction of a new term to describe a pathology found to be commonly present in the brains of aged persons; namely “Primary Age-Related Tauopathy (PART). Autopsy studies indicate brains with neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) indistinguishable from those in Alzheimer’s Disease but without amyloid (Aβ) plaques, so-called “NFT+/Aβ-” brains. This pathology is usually restricted to the medial temporal lobe, basal forebrain, brainstem, and olfactory areas (bulb and cortex).

Symptoms of PART range from normal / mild amnestic cognitive changes to more rare profound cognitive impairment. PART is not identifiable before post-mortem at present, but development of biomarkers and tau imaging might enable clinical diagnosis of PART in future. Earlier literature discussing the features of PART is discussed in this review, and diagnostic criteria for PART are proposed.

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Reference

Crary, JF. Trojanowski, JQ. [and] Schneider, JA. [et al] (2014). Primary age-related tauopathy (PART): a common pathology associated with human aging. Acta Neuropathologica. December 2014, Vol.128(6), pp.755-66. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).

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