LATE: A common cause of dementia you've never heard of 

If dementia is a general term that means thinking and memory has deteriorated to the point that it interferes with day-to-day function.

What are the top three disorders that cause dementia in older individuals?

Did you think of Alzheimer’s disease? Good! Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia. 

Did you also think of vascular dementia or strokes? Excellent! Vascular dementia is the second most common cause. What about the third?

It’s not Lewy body dementia, although Lewy body dementia (encompassing both dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson’s disease dementia) is the fourth most common cause. 

Individuals with this disorder often have features of Parkinson’s disease, visual hallucinations of people and animals, fluctuations in attention and alertness, and they may act out their dreams in bed.

It’s not frontotemporal dementia. Individuals with this disorder are often in their 60s or younger. 

They generally have problems with behavior or language.

So what’s the answer? It’s LATE, which stands for limbic-predominant age-related TDP-43 encephalopathy.