Myths About Alzheimers Disease
Alzheimers disease is a leading cause of death in the United States, and millions of Americans are affected by the disease. Its important to distinguish the facts from the myths about Alzheimers, especially when it comes to finding information online. Read on to learn about common myths surrounding this disease.
Dementia In Younger People
People whose symptoms started when they were under the age of 65 are often known as younger people with dementia or as having young-onset dementia. This is not for a biological reason, but is based on the fact that 65 was the usual age of retirement for many people.People sometimes use the terms early-onset dementia or working-age dementia. This information uses the term young-onset dementia.
Dementia is caused by a wide range of different diseases. This is similar for younger and older people , but there are important differences in how dementia affects younger people. These include the following:
- A wider range of diseases cause young-onset dementia.
- A younger person is much more likely to have a rarer form of dementia.
- Younger people with dementia are less likely to have memory loss as one of their first symptoms.
- Young-onset dementia is more likely to cause problems with movement, walking, co-ordination or balance.
- Young-onset dementia is more likely to be inherited this affects up to 10% of younger people with dementia.
- Many younger people with dementia dont have any other serious or long-term health conditions.
The Seven Stages Of Dementia
One of the most difficult things to hear about dementia is that, in most cases, dementia is irreversible and incurable. However, with an early diagnosis and proper care, the progression of some forms of dementia can be managed and slowed down. The cognitive decline that accompanies dementia conditions does not happen all at once – the progression of dementia can be divided into seven distinct, identifiable stages.
Learning about the stages of dementia can help with identifying signs and symptoms early on, as well as assisting sufferers and caretakers in knowing what to expect in further stages. The earlier dementia is diagnosed, the sooner treatment can start.
You May Like: Can Lack Of B12 Cause Dementia
What Should You Do If Youre Younger Than 65 And Having Memory Problems
As Ive discussed, if youre younger than 65 and youre having memory problems, its very unlikely to be Alzheimers disease. But if it is, there are resources available from the National Institute on Aging that can help.
What else could be causing memory problems at a young age? The most common cause of memory problems below age 65 is poor sleep. Other causes of young onset memory problems include perimenopause, medication side effects, depression, anxiety, illegal drugs, alcohol, cannabis, head injuries, vitamin deficiencies, thyroid disorders, chemotherapy, strokes, and other neurological disorders.
Here are some things that everyone at any age can do to improve their memory and reduce their risk of dementia:
How Alzheimer’s Disease Is Treated
There’s currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but medicines are available that can help relieve some of the symptoms.
Various other types of support are also available to help people with Alzheimer’s live as independently as possible, such as making changes to your home environment so it’s easier to move around and remember daily tasks.
Psychological treatments such as cognitive stimulation therapy may also be offered to help support your memory, problem solving skills and language ability.
Read more about treating Alzheimer’s disease.
Recommended Reading: Can You Drive With Vascular Dementia
Alzheimers In Young People: Signs Of First Changes
The Alzheimer young is characterized by the onset of symptoms at an age between 40 and 60 years: memory loss, not remembering names, difficulty oriented, praxis, gnosis and loss of executive functions.
Alzheimers is a neurodegenerative disease that is associated with advanced ages and is considered a pathology of onset in old age.
However, this is not quite so, since Alzheimers can begin to develop in the brain of an individual in much earlier stages.
Thus, in some cases it can be observed how this neurodegenerative disease can begin to manifest itself during youth and early stages of adulthood.
These discoveries open a line of research into both the pathogenesis and the treatment of Alzheimers that are highly interesting and have a high scientific potential.
Doctors Cannot Definitively Diagnose Someone With Alzheimers Disease Until After Death
Before researchers developed biomarker tests in the early 2000s, the only sure way to know whether a person had Alzheimers disease was through autopsy, a procedure that is performed after death. Now, lab and imaging tests are available to help a doctor or researcher see the biological signs of the disease in a living person. For example, it is now possible for doctors to order a blood test to measure levels of beta-amyloid, a protein that accumulates abnormally in people with Alzheimers. Several other blood tests are in development. However, the availability of these tests is still limited. NIA-supported research teams continue to study options for faster, less-expensive, and less-invasive ways to diagnose Alzheimers.
Learn more about biomarkers and Alzheimers detection and research.
You May Like: How Do You Get A Person With Dementia To Eat
I Will Develop Alzheimers Disease If My Parent Has It
If a parent or close relative has Alzheimers disease, you may be worried about developing it as you get older. A persons chance of developing Alzheimers is higher if they have certain genetic mutations or variations that can be passed down from a parent. However, just because a biological parent has Alzheimers does not mean that their children will develop it.
Alzheimers disease is complex, and scientists dont yet fully understand what causes it in most people. Research suggests that in most individuals, a host of factors beyond genetics play a role in the development and course of the disease. Environmental and lifestyle factors, such as exercise, diet, exposure to pollutants, and smoking may also affect a persons risk for Alzheimers. Although we dont yet know how to prevent Alzheimers, its important to practice healthy behaviors throughout your lifetime, such as exercising regularly and eating a balanced diet.
Learn more about Alzheimers disease genetics.
Early Signs Of Alzheimers Disease In Young Adults
Aging is a natural process of human life. As we age, we experience subtle and gradual changes in our bodies and brains however, it is important to understand which changes in your brain are not caused by normal aging. Some of these changes may be early signs of Alzheimers disease or other forms of dementia. Here are some of the most common early signs of Alzheimers disease in young adults.
Don’t Miss: Adhd Medication And Alzheimer’s
Young Onset Dementia Facts And Figures
As with dementia generally, there is conflicting information about the prevalence of young onset dementia. The low levels of awareness and the difficulties of diagnosing the condition at working-age mean popularly used statistics are likely to be inaccurate and do not reflect the true number of people who are affected. The facts and figures stated below relate to the UK.
Stage : Mild Cognitive Impairment
Clear cognitive problems begin to manifest in stage 3. A few signs of stage 3 dementia include:
- Getting lost easily
- Noticeably poor performance at work
- Forgetting the names of family members and close friends
- Difficulty retaining information read in a book or passage
- Losing or misplacing important objects
- Difficulty concentrating
Patients often start to experience mild to moderate anxiety as these symptoms increasingly interfere with day to day life. Patients who may be in this stage of dementia are encouraged to have a clinical interview with a clinician for proper diagnosis.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Difference Between Dementia And Senile Dementia
Key Points About Early
Alzheimer disease commonly affects older people, but early-onset Alzheimer disease can affect people in their 30s or 40s.
It affects memory, thinking, and behavior.
Although there is no known cure, early diagnosis and treatment can lead to better quality of life.
Stay healthy with a good diet and regular exercise.
Avoid alcohol and other substances that may affect memory, thinking, and behavior.
When Dementia Strikes At An Early Age
Dementia in a person in their 30s, 40s or 50s poses special challenges, starting with getting a diagnosis.
Send any friend a story
As a subscriber, you have 10 gift articles to give each month. Anyone can read what you share.
Give this article
Many people arent overly concerned when an octogenarian occasionally forgets the best route to a favorite store, cant remember a friends name or dents the car while trying to parallel park on a crowded city street. Even healthy brains work less efficiently with age, and memory, sensory perceptions and physical abilities become less reliable.
But what if the person is not in their 80s but in their 30s, 40s or 50s and forgets the way home from their own street corner? Thats far more concerning. While most of the 5.3 million Americans who are living with Alzheimers disease or other forms of dementia are over 65, some 200,000 are younger than 65 and develop serious memory and thinking problems far earlier in life than expected.
Young-onset dementia is a particularly disheartening diagnosis because it affects individuals in the prime years, Dr. David S. Knopman, a neurologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., wrote in a . Many of the afflicted are in their 40s and 50s, midcareer, hardly ready to retire and perhaps still raising a family.
Don’t Miss: What Happens In The Early Stage Of Alzheimer’s Disease
What Are The Causes Of Young
The causes of young-onset dementia are similar to the diseases that usually cause dementia in older people. However, some causes, such as frontotemporal dementia , are more common in younger people. Dementia in younger people often has different symptoms, even when its caused by the same diseases as in older people.There is more information about some common causes of dementia, and how they can affect younger people, below.
Difficulty Determining Time Or Place
Losing track of dates and misunderstanding the passage of time as it occurs are also two common symptoms. Planning for future events can become difficult because they arent immediately occurring.
As symptoms progress, people with AD can become increasingly forgetful about where they are, how they got there, or why theyre there.
You May Like: Do Alzheimer’s Patients Forget How To Breathe
Health Environmental And Lifestyle Factors
Research suggests that a host of factors beyond genetics may play a role in the development and course of Alzheimers. There is a great deal of interest, for example, in the relationship between cognitive decline and vascular conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure, as well as metabolic diseases, such as diabetes and obesity. Ongoing research will help us understand whether and how reducing risk factors for these conditions may also reduce the risk of Alzheimers.
A nutritious diet, physical activity, social engagement, and mentally stimulating pursuits have all been associated with helping people stay healthy as they age. These factors might also help reduce the risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimers. Researchers are testing some of these possibilities in clinical trials.
What Is Alzheimers Disease
Dementia is the term applied to a group of symptoms that negatively impact memory, but Alzheimers is a specific progressive disease of the brain that slowly causes impairment in memory and cognitive function. The exact cause is unknown, and no cure is available.
Although younger people can and do get Alzheimers, the symptoms generally begin after age 65.
Read Also: Can Dementia Come On Suddenly In Elderly
Facts About Alzheimer Disease
Alzheimer disease is becoming more common as the general population gets older and lives longer. Alzheimer disease usually affects people older than 65. A small number of people have early-onset Alzheimer disease, which starts when they are in their 30s or 40s.
People live for an average of 8 years after their symptoms appear. But the disease can progress quickly in some people and slowly in others. Some people live as long as 20 years with the disease.
No one knows what causes Alzheimer disease. Genes, environment, lifestyle, and overall health may all play a role.
What Is Young Onset Dementia
Dementia is caused by underlying diseases that affect how our brain cells work. There are many causes of young onset dementia, with Alzheimers disease the most common. The information on these pages will cover different causes of dementia that affect people under 65. You can use the menu below to find out more about different causes of young onset dementia.
Some studies have found that around one in ten people with mild cognitive impairment are under the age of 65.
Unlike dementia, symptoms of MCI may not get in the way of a persons day-to-day life. For some people with MCI, their memory and thinking problems stay the same, but for others they may get worse over time. There are many causes of MCI, some of which are more common in younger people, including:
- Depression, stress, and anxiety
- Sleep disorders like sleep apnoea
- Early stages of Alzheimers disease or another type of dementia
If you are worried about yourself or someone else who may be showing symptoms of dementia or MCI, talk to your doctor. They will be able to rule out other health problems such as vitamin deficiencies that may cause similar symptoms in younger people. They may also refer you to a specialist for further tests if necessary.
Alzheimers disease accounts for around one in three cases of young onset dementia. Around 5 in every 100 people with Alzheimers disease are under 65. This figure may be higher as it can be more difficult to get an accurate diagnosis at a younger age.
Don’t Miss: How To Become An Alzheimer’s Researcher
Can Alzheimer’s Disease Be Prevented
As the exact cause of Alzheimer’s disease is not clear, there’s no known way to prevent the condition.
But there are things you can do that may reduce your risk or delay the onset of dementia, such as:
- staying physically fit and mentally active
These measures have other health benefits, such as lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease and improving your overall mental health.
Read more about preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimers Disease Symptoms Are Normal As We Get Older
Many people become more forgetful as they age, and some forgetfulness, such as losing things from time to time, is normal. However, common signs and symptoms of Alzheimers, such as making poor judgments and decisions a lot of the time, having problems recognizing friends and family, or losing track of the date or time of year are not a normal part of aging.
If you are worried about your memory or other possible Alzheimers symptoms, talk with your doctor. The doctor may ask questions about your health history, perform assessments of your thinking and memory, and carry out medical tests to determine your diagnosis.
Learn more about the signs and symptoms of Alzheimers disease.
Read Also: What Is The Prognosis Of Alzheimer’s Disease
Young Adults At Future Risk Of Alzheimer’s Have Different Brain Activity Says Study
- Imperial College London
- Young adults with a genetic variant that raises their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease show changes in their brain activity decades before any symptoms might arise, according to a new brain imaging study by scientists. The results may support the idea that the brain’s memory function may gradually wear itself out in those who go on to develop Alzheimer’s.
Young adults with a genetic variant that raises their risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease show changes in their brain activity decades before any symptoms might arise, according to a new brain imaging study by scientists from the University of Oxford and Imperial College London. The results may support the idea that the brain’s memory function may gradually wear itself out in those who go on to develop Alzheimer’s.
The research, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, provides clues as to why certain people develop Alzheimer’s Disease and it may be a step towards a diagnostic test that identifies individuals at risk. The degenerative condition is the most common cause of dementia and it affects around 417,000 people in the UK.
The researchers behind today’s study stress that most carriers of APOE4 will not go on to develop Alzheimer’s and carriers should not be alarmed by the study’s findings.
All the volunteers in the study were aged between 20 and 35 and all performed normally on tasks designed to test their cognitive skills.
Advancements In Brain Health Monitoring And Early Alzheimers Detection
While it is important to understand visible symptoms and early signs of Alzheimers disease in young adults, the ability to provide early detection and diagnosis depends on detecting Alzheimers disease before the onset of symptoms.
Early detection in the pre-symptomatic phases begins with regular and frequent measurement and monitoring of brain health as early as possible to identify impairment and assess the risk of disease development.
Altoida is radically changing the standard for managing brain health and diagnosing neurological diseases. We are developing the worlds first Precision Neurology platform and app-based medical device to enable more accessible, accurate, and effective diagnosis and monitoring right on your smartphone or tablet.
Our device provides the most sensitive, accurate, and efficient way to assess and monitor brain health. By engaging in a 10-minute series of augmented reality and motor activities, we transform your smartphone or tablet into the most powerful tool to assess neurocognitive function. While users complete digital activities, our device collects and analyzes nearly 800 cognitive and functional digital biomarkers proven to be clinically significant through over 20 years of scientific research.
To learn more about Altoidas Precision Neurology device or early signs of Alzheimers disease in young adults, contact us today.
Recommended Reading: Should Dementia Patients Drink Alcohol