Any information about amyloid plaques and connection to Alzheimer? Are they always connected or in just some cases. A neurologist thought my 93 year old mother has Alzheimers based on these plaques on her brain and some speech issues (she has always had a speech disorder).

From what I am reading amyloid plaque disease showing up on a MRI can be consistent with aging and not always associated with Alzheimer's.

I'm not sure if it matters whether they always indicate Alzheimers. If she has symptoms, you base your care of her on those. People decline in many ways in their 90s, and all sorts of things can cause cognitive issues. It's like running a race - even if you try to outrun cognitive issues, heart and lungs and kidneys etc. will catch up with you.

The last research I've read is from several years ago so I'm not up on the latest findings but I think the bottom line is that everyone with Alzheimer's has amyloid plaques but not everyone with plaques has Alzheimer's. Unfortunately drugs that target the plaques are not as successful as hoped, leading research in other directions.

I think I remember reading that scans can show plagues, but the living owners of these brains varied significantly - from having symptoms of dementia to healthy, no symptoms.

I also read at autopsy of Alzheimer's Disease patients, brains varied too in their levels of plagues.

So related, yes I thought so. But exactly how.. dunno.

MRI CAN show abnormalies in brain structure or brain shrinkage.

I did overhear a Doctor & his 93 year old patient once. She asked about her recent brain scan. He replied "The scan showed a picture of an 93 year old brain".
Ok then..

I guess he meant, don't worry, just live your life.

Why did your mother go to a neurologist in the first place, at 93? Then get an MRI which specifically looks for plaques in the brain to indicate AD, if not to either diagnose or rule out Alzheimer's and dementia? She must be exhibiting some signs of cognitive impairment or I wouldn't think you'd subject her to a brain MRI which is loud and somewhat traumatic.

My mother was diagnosed, correctly, with dementia via a cognitive exam in 2016. Her MRI was normal when she was given one looking for stroke activity.

If you type in "Do amyeloid plaques ALWAYS indicate Alzheimer's Disease on the search engine this pops up:

According to 5 sources
These plaques are a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease. A buildup of toxic amyloid-beta peptide and amyloid plaques can lead to the death of nerve cells and the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease."

I would say that doesn't necessarily mean that these plagues are already causing disease serious enough to manifest. The new drugs that are approved recently for administration under Medicare are specifically earmarked for these plaques and for EARLY Alzheimer's and seem promising in slowing progression, the hope being a senior may die a natural death before subcumbing. They DO have side effects including bleed in the brain, so not to be taken lightly. Has the doctor suggested them?

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