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The implications of this research are exciting, but they are being exaggerated. Aside from the usual issues of replication and the questions about applying results in mice to humans there is one very big question that the article ignores: Tau protein mis-folding is not the proven cause of dementia.

We actually still don't know what causes dementia, but it is highly likely that not all patients have the same pathology. The use of the term Alzheimer's Disease originally referred to patients with what was called pre-senile dementia. It was rare and occurred in younger patients. Unfortunately, the term is now being applied to everyone with dementia who doesn't have any obvious pathology (such as multi-infarct dementia. This helps people getting funding but really muddies the waters!

Remember that most people who have dementia ARE old when they die, and their brain's are not dissected, so we have no way of knowing if they had tau protein tangles.
The discovery in studies of mice solves a mystery surrounding the disease’s grim march and has immediate implications for developing treatments, researchers said.
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