Symptoms Specific To Frontotemporal Dementia
Although Alzheimer’s disease is still the most common type of dementia in people under 65, a higher percentage of people in this age group may develop frontotemporal dementia than older people. Most cases are diagnosed in people aged 45-65.
Early symptoms of frontotemporal dementia may include:
- personality changes reduced sensitivity to others’ feelings, making people seem cold and unfeeling
- lack of social awareness making inappropriate jokes or showing a lack of tact, though some people may become very withdrawn and apathetic
- language problems difficulty finding the right words or understanding them
- becoming obsessive such as developing fads for unusual foods, overeating and drinking
Read more about frontotemporal dementia.
Talking With A Doctor
After considering the persons symptoms and ordering screening tests, the doctor may offer a preliminary diagnosis or refer the person to a Cognitive Dementia and Memory Service clinic, neurologist, geriatrician or psychiatrist.Some people may be resistant to the idea of visiting a doctor. In some cases, people do not realise, or else they deny, that there is anything wrong with them. This can be due to the brain changes of dementia that interfere with the ability to recognise or appreciate the changes occurring. Others have an insight of the changes, but may be afraid of having their fears confirmed.One of the most effective ways to overcome this problem is to find another reason for a visit to the doctor. Perhaps suggest a check-up for a symptom that the person is willing to acknowledge, such as blood pressure, or suggest a review of a long-term condition or medication.Another way is to suggest that it is time for both of you to have a physical check-up. Any expressed anxiety by the person is an excellent opportunity to suggest a visit to the doctor. Be sure to provide a lot of reassurance. A calm, caring attitude at this time can help overcome the person’s very real worries and fears.Sometimes, your friend or family member may refuse to visit the doctor to ask about their symptoms. You can take a number of actions to get support including:
- talking with other carers who may have had to deal with similar situations
Feeling Depressed Or A Personality Shift
Up to 40 percent of people with Alzheimers experience depression, according to the Alzheimers Association. People with Alzheimers who are depressed tend to be apathetic and irritable and to have sleep disturbances, but they are less likely to feel guilty or have a risk of suicide than depressed people without Alzheimers. Other changes in personality that might indicate early-onset Alzheimers include mood swings, anxiety, aggression, anger, fear, suspicion, and loss of inhibitions.
Don’t Miss: How To Help A Loved One With Dementia
Early Symptoms Of Dementia
Although the early signs vary, common early symptoms of dementia include:
- memory problems, particularly remembering recent events
- increasing confusion
- apathy and withdrawal or depression
- loss of ability to do everyday tasks.
Sometimes, people fail to recognise that these symptoms indicate that something is wrong. They may mistakenly assume that such behaviour is a normal part of the ageing process. Symptoms may also develop gradually and go unnoticed for a long time. Also, some people may refuse to act, even when they know something is wrong.
Losing Interest In Work And Socializing
Its normal to want to try to balance work and social life, to wish you could spend more time with your family or work fewer hours. But withdrawing from work projects or social activities you used to enjoyfor instance, losing interest in a sports team you once followed religiouslycould be a sign of early Alzheimers disease and depression. A feeling of apathy or a loss of interest in once-favorite hobbies is also a sign, suggests the Alzheimers Association.
You May Like: Can A Dat Scan Detect Dementia
Problem Completing The Most Common Daily Tasks
When we go on repeating activities, they become part of our subconscious mind, and we carry out them without even thinking about them. Our chores are just like these activities that we carry off instantaneously.
But the women having symptoms of dementia have problems in performing their daily duties. They even forget how to cook food properly and make a cup of tea which they were the experts of not long ago.
These patients often remain perplexed because they do not recall their fundamental tasks and, most often, they strive to conceal their nervousness from relatives.
Having difficulties in the most common tasks is one of the preliminary signs of dementia in women.
Signs And Symptoms Of Dementia
A long list of symptoms is associated with dementia, but many overlap with other health conditions, meaning that having some of them does not confirm that an individual is cognitively impaired.
That said, dont hesitate to consult a healthcare provider if you or a loved one is showing signs of dementia, which can be cognitive or psychological in nature:
- Trouble remembering new information
- Exhibiting signs of paranoia
- Exercising poor judgment
Not everyone will notice these symptoms right away, and a checklist alone cant determine if a person has a dementia-related disorder. In fact, not even a test can do so.
Read Also: Does Dementia Come And Go
How Does Young Onset Dementia Develop
The early symptoms of young onset dementia may not be memory loss. Symptoms can differ from one person to another depending on the type of dementia a person has, and which parts of the brain it affects.
Dementias affecting the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain are more common in younger people so it is more likely that the early symptoms may include changes in:
- vision and spatial awareness
In addition, the person may not recognise the changes or may be reluctant to accept there is anything wrong when they are otherwise fit and well, and so put off visiting their doctor.
What Causes Frontotemporal Dementia
Researchers have not identified a single cause for this type of dementia, but they have some ideas. Some peoples brains develop abnormal protein structures, called Pick bodies.
Researchers have also identified abnormal proteins that may play a role. These proteins, found in brain cells of individuals who died with dementia, may affect how the brain works. Researchers dont know why these proteins develop or how to prevent them.
Don’t Miss: What Stage Of Alzheimer’s Is Aphasia
Initial Causes Early Signs Of Dementia In 50s
There are several different causes of memory loss. Some cause this condition in the young, while others may be more gradual. If you notice that your memory is weakening, its important to consult a medical professional. Whether the cause is mental illness, age, or a combination of factors, its important to seek treatment as soon as possible. People with extensive memory loss may have social difficulties and anxiety, which can lead to depression. They may be afraid they are letting their loved ones down, which can lead to anxiety and depression. Early Signs of Dementia in 50s
Fortunately, there are many causes of memory loss, and many of them are treatable. However, if you are experiencing serious memory problems, you may need medical treatment. If you have been undergoing any type of medication, you should consult with your doctor. Some people have other underlying conditions that may be causing their loss of memory. Alcohol abuse, sleep deprivation, or other mental health conditions can cause memory problems. You should seek out a medical professional if you suspect youre suffering from any of these conditions.
How Hard Is It To Get Help
Because it is relatively rare for younger people to be diagnosed with dementia, services and interventions tend to be geared towards people aged 65 years and over. This means that often it is very difficult for younger people and their families to access support, especially at the beginning.
For example, people with dementia are usually seen by an old age psychiatrist, but if the person is under 65, it may not be clear which specialist they should see. Will the local old age psychiatrist be willing to see the person or should it be the neurologist? Accessing services can also be complicated. Which social services team will be responsible for ongoing care management one that deals with mental health among working age adults or one that works with older people with dementia? Can a younger person with dementia attend a day facility for older people? Many younger people with dementia and their families experience great frustration as they work through these bureaucratic hurdles.
Activities too in a range of settings are often planned with much older and more physically frail people in mind. An activity that is suitable for a 90-year-old woman with limited mobility say, a discussion group may be completely inappropriate for an active 50-year-old man with fronto-temporal dementia who wants to walk all day, every day.
You May Like: Does President Biden Have Dementia
You’ve Been Experiencing Memory Changes
If you’re developing dementia, one of the first symptoms you might experience is a change in your ability to remember things, which might include forgetting what you just got up to do, or losing your train of thought mid-sentence.
“Signs of early-onset dementia include short-term memory changes, often described as an ‘inability to keep a thought in your head,'”Dr. Faisal Tawwab, MD, tells Bustle. So, if your words escape you, or you’ve suddenly become super forgetful, take note.
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
Recommended Reading: How Fast Does Alzheimer’s Dementia Progress
You Struggle To Learn New Things
It can be tough to learn new skills, but people with dementia often have a particularly difficult time. If you have early-onset dementia, Zwerling says you might struggle with things like learning how to use a new tool, or when developing a new skill.
You might also notice that you’re suddenly struggling to work with numbers, or that you can’t easily develop or follow a plan. If these traits have always been part of your personality, then you probably don’t have to worry. But don’t hesitate to get more information about your health should these things seem out of the ordinary, or if they start to negatively impact your day.
Rapid And Unexplained Mood Swings And/or Depression
Mood and personality changes can be associated with early signs of dementia. This could include becoming confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious, and your parent may find themselves getting easily upset in places they feel unsure about.
Some of the dementia symptoms NHS lists include:
- Increased anxiety
- Violent Mood Swings
For example, your parent may appear calm, then visibly upset, and then very angry in a matter of minutes. This is a significant sign of dementia anger and frustration specifically if its unprovoked.
Other physical signs include pacing, obsessing over minor details, agitation, fear, confusion, rage and feeling overwhelmed because theyre trying to make sense of a world thats now confusing to them.
This is different to: more typical age-related behaviours such as becoming irritable when a routine is disrupted.
Also Check: Does Meredith Have Alzheimer’s Gene
Having A Hard Time Managing Money
One of the classic early signs of Alzheimers disease is an increasing difficulty with money management. This might start off as having trouble balancing a checkbook or keeping up with expenses or bills, but as the disease progresses, poor financial decisions are often made across the board.
Though many people brush off this symptom as a normal part of aging, they shouldnt. We tend to associate aging with losing your mind. Thats not healthy aging its a disease, emphasizes Rankin.
Why Is Dementia More Common In Women
While theres no concrete answer as to why women are more likely to develop dementia than men, there are a few commonly accepted theories.
The number one factor for dementia is age. And, while the ageing process itself doesnt cause dementia, as people age the risk of developing dementia does increase. On average women live longer than men, and are therefore more at risk.
Nearly 3 in 4 people over 90 are women. And in the UK, the average life expectancy of a woman is around 82 years old. For men, its 79 years old.
In addition to this, experts know from scanning the brains of people with dementia that brain cells naturally die faster in women than they do in men. This could increase the prevalence of dementia, and how fast it progresses.
Research also suggests that the female hormone oestrogen could increase the risk of dementia too.
While widely known as a sex hormone, Oestrogen isnt only used in the bodys reproductive functions. Its also used in our brains, specifically in the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex, which are the areas responsible for memory and decision making, and are commonly damaged by dementia.
Oestrogen helps brain cells communicate more effectively through a process called synaptic plasticity. In short, the hormone helps the gaps between cells adapt and send messages between the most active brain cells so that information can be processed faster.
While women have more oestrogen, both men and women have this hormone in their bodies.
Recommended Reading: How Does One Get Alzheimer’s Disease
Failing To Pick Up On Sarcasm And Spot A Liar
You may or may not appreciate a sarcastic sense of humor, but sarcasm is a part of our culture. “We see it as a nice way to be critical, and so we use it constantly, even when we are trying to be nice,” says Rankin, whose research found that people with both frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer’s disease tend to have a harder time picking up on sarcasm.
Another unusual sign of dementia that Rankin noticed? People with FTD couldn’t tell when someone was lying, although people with Alzheimer’s disease could tell. “FTD patients don’t have that sense anymore that things that people do could turn out badly,” she says.
Staring With Reduced Gaze And Trouble Reading
Reduced gaze is the clinical term for the dementia symptom that alters peoples ability to move their eyes normally. We all move our eyes and track with them frequently, says Rankin. But people showing early signs of dementia look like theyre staring a lot. Rankin adds that they might skip lines when they try to read. This is one of the signs of dementia that the person with dementia might not completely be aware of, although people around them probably will be.
Don’t Miss: Can Infections Cause Alzheimer’s Disease
What Are The Risk Factors
We do not know fully the risk factors for developing young onset dementia. For many people, it just seems to develop. In a proportion of younger people, there is a familial link. Individuals who have at least one close relative with dementia have a two to four times greater risk of developing dementia before the age of 65, most commonly Alzheimers disease. The effect is stronger for those where the close relative had young onset dementia.
A second major risk factor is Downs syndrome. Up to three-quarters of people with Downs syndrome over the age of 50 will develop dementia . This problem is increasingly evident as people with Downs syndrome are living longer now.
In addition, people from black and minority ethnic groups under the age of 65 years seem more likely to be diagnosed with dementia.
How Is Dementia Detected
“Your doctor will conduct a series of tests to determine the severity and cause of your symptoms,” says Dr. Scharre. “These may include brain-imaging tests or other lab tests. Your doctor will also work to rule out other possible causes, such as previous strokes or Parkinson’s disease. Doctors might also speak with family members to determine whether your behavior has changed recently, or to assess the frequency of symptoms.” And to protect your life and the lives of others, don’t visit any of these35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.
Don’t Miss: Did Robin Williams Have Dementia
You Have A Family History Of Early
This is the biggest risk factor. Early-onset Alzheimers disease has a very strong genetic component, explains Stephen Rao, PhD, a neuropsychologist, chair and director of the Schey Center for Cognitive Neuroimaging at the Cleveland Clinic. If your parent or another close relative had early-onset, you should probably be testedneuropsychologically tested, but also genetically tested, as there are some definitive genetic markers. Check out this recent study that may help determine someones risk for developing Alzheimers by using a linguistic test.
The good news is that early-onset Alzheimers disease is much rarer than late-onset. Most people worried about memory and other cognitive issues before age 65 are probably just experiencing normal aging changes. And when there is some cognitive impairment, its likely to be due to reasons other than early-onset Alzheimers disease, such as medical conditions, emotional problems like depression or stress, sleep impairment, or medication side effects.
What Is Young Onset Dementia
Dementia is a degeneration of the brain that causes a progressive decline in peoples ability to think, reason, communicate and remember. Their personality, behaviour and mood can also be affected. Everyones experience of dementia is unique and the progression of the condition varies. Some symptoms are more likely to occur with certain types of dementia.
Dementia is described as young onset when symptoms develop before the age of 65, usually between 30 to 65 years of age. It is also referred to as early onset or working age dementia, but these terms can cause confusion. Early onset can be interpreted as the early stages of dementia and working age is now less defined as retirement age is more flexible.
As dementia is frequently, and wrongly, thought of as a condition that is just associated with old age, the early symptoms of young onset dementia are not always recognised and may be attributed to other causes including depression, stress, menopause, physical health problems and relationship issues. This can lead to a significant delay in getting an accurate diagnosis and access to appropriate support. This can have a negative impact on not just the person with dementias life but also the whole family.
Don’t Miss: Can Dementia Cause Inappropriate Behaviour