Early Onset Alzheimer's
Although the risk of dementia increases with age, many thousands of people under the age of 65 have received a diagnosis of dementia. There are a number of terms used to describe the onset of dementia in younger people. They include:
Roughly a third of young people with dementia have Alzheimer's disease. Some types of dementia, or people who present with signs and symptoms similar to dementia, can be successfully treated. These reversible types of treatable dementia's include:
alcohol dependance and poisoning, depression, brain tumors, liver and renal failure, stroke.
Other types of dementia can occur as a result of brain damage, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) and Pick's disease.
Specific Issues of Early Onset Dementia
As symptoms of dementia occur before the age of 65 and can, very rarely, be as early as the mid-thirties, younger people with dementia have a number of very specific issues. Most, if not all, will be employed and will have financial commitments such as mortgages. They may have young families. They will probably be fit and active. Specifically they may struggle to find a specialist service that is equipped for the needs of early onset dementia.
Diagnosis & Support for Early Onset Dementia
Relatively few specialist services exist for younger people with dementia.
One of the first problems for younger people with Alzheimer's disease is confusion over diagnosis. Often the early symptoms of dementia can appear similar to depression for example. As symptoms develop the family doctor has to make a decision about where to turn for more specialist advice. Depending on where you live you may then be referred to a psychiatrist, a geriatrician, a neurologist or various combinations of health professionals.
Specialist groups like the Alzheimer's Society campaign for better services and will be able to provide support and advice for young men and women with Alzheimer's disease and dementia. Contact your local chapter for more information.
Link here to find your local Alzheimer's Chapter
Video Links About Alzheimer's Disease