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At What Age Is Alzheimer Considered Early Onset

You Have Trouble Completing Everyday Tasks

Living with early onset Alzheimer’s disease

“As a general rule, what I tell people is that as we age, many of us will experience the phenomenon of slower processing speed,” explains Pierre Tariot, MD, director of the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute in Phoenix. “We can’t manage complex intellectual challenges as quickly as we did in our youth.” Multitasking may become more difficult, doing mathematical calculations in your head may take more time, and balancing your checkbook will be a bit slower than it used to be. But according to the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation, someone with early dementia may find it impossible to do everyday taskslike balancing a checkbookthat once were easy. If someone used to be a gourmet cook and now has difficulty following a complex recipe, that can be a red flag, too.

Who Gets Early Onset Ad

Although AD isnt an expected part of advancing age, youre at increased risk as you get older. More than 32 percent of people over age 85 have AD.

You may also have an increased risk of developing AD if a parent, sibling, or child has the disease. If more than one family member has AD, your risk increases.

A showed that African Americans, Native Americans, and Native Alaskans are at higher risk for developing early onset AD compared to white people.

Prevalence of early onset AD

Early onset AD affects approximately

The exact cause of early onset AD hasnt been fully determined. Many researchers believe that this disease develops as the result of multiple factors rather than one specific cause.

Researchers have discovered rare genes that may directly cause or contribute to AD. These deterministic genes are:

  • amyloid precursor protein on chromosome 21
  • presenilin-1 on chromosome 14
  • presenilin-2 on chromosome 1

These genes may be carried from one generation to the next within a family. Carrying these genes can result in adults younger than age 65 developing symptoms much earlier than expected.

Mutations in these genes account for only 5 to 10 percent of all Alzheimers cases but a majority of early onset AD cases.

Apolipoprotein E is another gene associated with AD. Its more commonly a factor in people who develop AD after age 65.

Lifestyle changes that help reduce risk include:

  • regular physical activity

Signs Of Mild Alzheimers Disease

In mild Alzheimers disease, a person may seem to be healthy but has more and more trouble making sense of the world around him or her. The realization that something is wrong often comes gradually to the person and his or her family. Problems can include:

  • Poor judgment leading to bad decisions
  • Loss of spontaneity and sense of initiative
  • Taking longer to complete normal daily tasks
  • Repeating questions
  • Increased sleeping
  • Loss of bowel and bladder control

A common cause of death for people with Alzheimers disease is aspiration pneumonia. This type of pneumonia develops when a person cannot swallow properly and takes food or liquids into the lungs instead of air.

There is currently no cure for Alzheimers, though there are medicines that can treat the symptoms of the disease.

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Age At Onset As A Highly Heritable Factor In Ad

AAO is highly heritable in AD families. In early-onset cases, mutations in three genes are known to account for around half of familial cases : Amyloid Precursor Protein , Presenilin-1 and Presenilin-2 . However, the genes involved in AAO variance mostly remain to be identified linkage and candidate gene studies have established several possible associations with different loci, but the only consistently replicated modulator of AD AAO, in both familial and sporadic cases, is also the strongest genetic risk locus for the development of the disease . More recently, Naj et al. performed a large genome-wide association study in over 9000 patients to detect effects of known AD risk loci in modifying AAO. They confirmed the association of APOE4 allele with earlier onset and identified associations with CR1, BIN1 and PICALM. Burden analyses showed that APOE contributed 3.7 % of AAO variation the other nine loci studied contributed 2.2 % when considered together .

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Planning For The Future

When Alzheimer

Planning early makes it easier for someone with younger onset dementia to manage their financial, legal and medical affairs now and in the future.

If you have been diagnosed with younger onset dementia, it is important to make important decisions while you still can and while you are legally competent to sign any documents.

Things to think about include:

  • your living arrangements into the future
  • who can have access to your financial accounts
  • having joint signatures on all financial accounts
  • arranging when and how you will access your finances
  • talking to a financial adviser
  • sorting out superannuation, health and income insurance
  • writing or updating your will

If you have been diagnosed with dementia, its important to nominate a trusted person to manage your affairs in the future. You can do this through an Enduring Power of Attorney .

A financial EPA enables a nominated person to look after your financial affairs if you become unable to do so. A medical EPA covers only medical decisions. The laws regarding EPAs vary between states and territories, so it’s important to seek legal advice before the agreement is completed, or if you are moving interstate.

Some states also have medical guardianship . This allows someone to choose a person to make medical decisions for them. For more information on guardianship and administrators, visit the My Aged Care website.

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> > > Best Memory Loss Solution Available

If youre experiencing memory loss, you should go to a doctor. Your doctor will perform a physical exam and ask about your symptoms. He or she will also ask you about your medication and any stress youre experiencing. After the exam, he or she will likely ask you to make an appointment with a neuropsychologist. If youre unable to recall the details of your doctor, you may want to consult another healthcare provider.

How Do I Treat Early

An important part of managing your condition is to stay as positive as you can. Keep up with the activities you still enjoy. Try different ways to relax, like yoga or deep breathing.

Keep your body in good shape, too. Make sure you eat healthy food and get regular exercise.

Medications can help with some symptoms of early-onset Alzheimer’s. Your doctor may prescribe drugs to help with memory loss, such as:

These medicines can delay or improve your symptoms for a few months to a few years. They may give you more time to live independently.

The doctor also may also suggest sleeping pills, antidepressants, or tranquilizers to manage other problems related to Alzheimer’s, like insomnia, night terrors, and anxiety.

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Trouble Speaking Or Writing Clearly

People with signs of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease may have trouble participating in a conversation or writing down their thoughts. Most people will occasionally pause to search for the right word and eventually remember it. But someone with signs of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease may experience the problem frequently, substitute an inappropriate word for the one they can’t remember, or be unable to continue speaking because they don’t know what to say.

Medications To Treat The Underlying Alzheimer’s Disease Process

Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease: What Families and Patients Need to Know | UCLAMDChat

Aducanumab is the first disease-modifying therapy approved by the FDA to treat Alzheimers disease. The medication helps to reduce amyloid deposits in the brain and may help slow the progression of Alzheimers, although it has not yet been shown to affect clinical outcomes such as progression of cognitive decline or dementia. A doctor or specialist will likely perform tests, such as a PET scan or analysis of cerebrospinal fluid, to look for evidence of amyloid plaques and help decide if the treatment is right for the patient.

Aducanumab was approved through the FDAs Accelerated Approval Program. This process requires an additional study after approval to confirm the anticipated clinical benefit. If the follow-up trial fails to verify clinical benefit, the FDA may withdraw approval of the drug. Results of the phase 4 clinical trial for aducanumab are expected to be available by early 2030.

Several other disease-modifying medications are being tested in people with mild cognitive impairment or early Alzheimers as potential treatments.

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How Is Alzheimers Disease Diagnosed

Talk to a doctor if you or a loved one is finding it increasingly difficult to perform day-to-day tasks, or if you or a loved one is experiencing increased memory loss. They may refer you to a doctor who specializes in AD.

Theyll conduct a medical exam and a neurological exam to aid in the diagnosis. They may also choose to complete an imaging test of your brain. They can only make a diagnosis after the medical evaluation is completed.

Theres no cure for AD at this time. The symptoms of AD can sometimes be treated with medications meant to help improve memory loss or decrease sleeping difficulties.

Research is still being done on possible alternative treatments.

Confusion About Location And Time

The person may experience confusion about places or times. They could have difficulty keeping track of seasons, months, or times of day.

They may become confused in an unfamiliar place. As Alzheimers disease progresses, they could feel confused in familiar places or question how they got there. They may also start to wander and get lost.

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What Are The Signs Of Alzheimer’s Disease

Scientists continue to unravel the complex brain changes involved in the onset and progression of Alzheimers disease. It seems likely that damage to the brain starts a decade or more before memory and other cognitive problems appear. During this preclinical stage of Alzheimers disease, people seem to be symptom-free, but toxic changes are taking place in the brain.

Damage occurring in the brain of someone with Alzheimers disease begins to show itself in very early clinical signs and symptoms. For most people with Alzheimersthose who have the late-onset varietysymptoms first appear in their mid-60s. Signs of early-onset Alzheimers begin between a persons 30s and mid-60s.

The first symptoms of Alzheimers vary from person to person. Memory problems are typically one of the first signs of cognitive impairment related to Alzheimers disease. Decline in non-memory aspects of cognition, such as word-finding, vision/spatial issues, and impaired reasoning or judgment, may also signal the very early stages of Alzheimers disease. And some people may be diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment. As the disease progresses, people experience greater memory loss and other cognitive difficulties.

Alzheimers disease progresses in several stages: preclinical, mild , moderate, and severe .

Symptoms Appear Before Age 60

Early onset dementia and Alzheimers are affecting younger adults, new ...

Perhaps the biggest defining sign of early onset Alzheimers is the timing of the symptoms first appearing. The most common form of Alzheimers, late onset Alzheimers, typically begins showing signs when a person is in their 60s.

Early onset Alzheimers, meanwhile, can start taking effect as early as your 30s and 40s. Typically, patients are diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers in their 40s or 50s.

Dr. James Ellison of the Swank Memory Care Center at Christiana Care Health System in Delaware writes that the majority of early onset Alzheimers disease does not run in families. Some families, however, do have a genetic mutation that almost guarantees development of early onset Alzheimers.

In an interview, Dr. Ellison said that people in their 40s and 50s should not be experiencing the so-called 10 warning symptoms of Alzheimers. If they are, they may have the early onset version of the disease.

In your 40s and 50s you should not be experiencing these symptoms, Ellison said. If you know something is wrong, keep looking for doctors or others who have the knowledge to treat you.

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Forgetfulness And Memory Loss

While forgetting where you placed your car keys may commonly occur with anyone at any age, and perhaps a bit more as you age, persistent forgetfulness or lapses in memory is typically a sign that something is wrong. For people with early onset Alzheimers, they may begin noticing abnormal and chronic lapses in memory as early as their 30s or 40s.

If youre missing where you are and how you got there, struggling to find the right words when conversing or consistently forgetting what your partner asked you to do, yet you feel as if youre too young to be experiencing these things, you may be developing some signs of early memory decline.

Frequently Misplacing Items And Not Being Able To Retrace Steps

Most people will lose items at some time, but they are usually able to locate them again by searching in logical locations and retracing their steps.

However, someone with Alzheimers disease may forget where they placed an item, especially if they put it in an unusual place. They may also be unable to retrace their steps to find the missing item. This can be distressing and cause the person to believe that someone is stealing from them.

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What Causes Younger Onset Dementia

Many different types of dementia can affect younger people. Each type has its own symptoms and is caused by a specific type of change in the brain. Some causes of early onset dementia are:

  • Alzheimers disease
  • problems with blood flow to the brain
  • deterioration to the front part of the brain
  • chronic overuse of alcohol over many years

What Causes Alzheimers Disease

Into the Fog: Living with Early-Onset Alzheimer’s | WebMD

In recent years, scientists have made tremendous progress in better understanding Alzheimers and the momentum continues to grow. Still, scientists dont yet fully understand what causes Alzheimers disease in most people. In people with early-onset Alzheimers, a genetic mutation may be the cause. Late-onset Alzheimers arises from a complex series of brain changes that may occur over decades. The causes probably include a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. The importance of any one of these factors in increasing or decreasing the risk of developing Alzheimers may differ from person to person.

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Adapting Your Work Environment

If youre comfortable sharing your diagnosis with your employer, you may find that reasonable work accommodations are available. These could include:

  • Changes in how many hours youre required to work.
  • Labeled or color-coded items for better organization.
  • Verbal reminders throughout the day.
  • Changes in how certain tasks are performed.
  • Minimizing of office clutter.

Moving forward

As your symptoms change, continue to make lifestyle alterations that better match your needs. You may want to seek additional accommodations from your employer, for example, research disability benefits to help ease the financial burden, or ask your spouse to take on certain tasks that you used to handle.

Be willing to adapt when necessary, and lean on friends and family to help you adjust to the changes. Also, take time to savor the present, treasure your interactions with loved ones, and stay engaged with your interests and the wider world.

Causes Of Early Onset Alzheimers

Most young people diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers disease have the condition for no known reason. But some people who experience early onset Alzheimers disease have the condition due to genetic causes. Researchers have been able to identify the genes that determine or increase your risk for developing Alzheimers.

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How Is Alzheimers Disease Treated

Alzheimers is complex, and it is therefore unlikely that any one drug or other intervention will successfully treat it in all people living with the disease.

Scientists are exploring many avenues to delay or prevent the disease as well as to treat its symptoms. In ongoing clinical trials, scientists are developing and testing several possible interventions. Under study are drug therapies aimed at a variety of disease interventions, as well as nondrug approaches such as physical activity, diet, cognitive training, and combinations of these. Just as we have many treatments for heart disease and cancer, we will likely need many options for treating Alzheimers. Precision medicine getting the right treatment to the right person at the right time will likely play a major role.

Current approaches to treating Alzheimers focus on helping people maintain mental function, treating the underlying disease process, and managing behavioral symptoms.

The Basics Of Alzheimers Disease

Dementia

Scientists are conducting studies to learn more about plaques, tangles, and other biological features of Alzheimers disease. Advances in brain imaging techniques allow researchers to see the development and spread of abnormal amyloid and tau proteins in the living brain, as well as changes in brain structure and function. Scientists are also exploring the very earliest steps in the disease process by studying changes in the brain and body fluids that can be detected years before Alzheimers symptoms appear. Findings from these studies will help in understanding the causes of Alzheimers and make diagnosis easier.

One of the great mysteries of Alzheimers disease is why it largely affects older adults. Research on normal brain aging is exploring this question. For example, scientists are learning how age-related changes in the brain may harm neurons and affect other types of brain cells to contribute to Alzheimers damage. These age-related changes include atrophy of certain parts of the brain, inflammation, blood vessel damage, production of unstable molecules called free radicals, and mitochondrial dysfunction .

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Attention And Language Impairment

While memory challenges can be involved in early onset Alzheimers, signs that something could be wrong can be much broader. In fact, experts note that memory loss, which is closely associated with Alzheimers, may actually be less prominent in people with early onset Alzheimers.

Instead, people with early onset Alzheimers often complain about difficulties finding words in conversation. They can experience problems with attention and orientation, as well as with simple math.

In the aggregate, patients with early-onset Alzheimers Disease, compared to similarly impaired patients with late-onset Alzheimers Disease, have better memory recognition scores and semantic memory but worse attention, language, executive functions, ideomotor praxis, and visuospatial skills, a research paper by Dr. Mario Mendez noted.

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