Wednesday, May 15, 2024
HomeFactsWhat Causes Early Onset Dementia

What Causes Early Onset Dementia

Confusion About Location And Time

Younger onset dementia (early onset dementia)

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

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

Common Types Of Dementia In Younger People

  • Alzheimer’s disease;is the most common form of dementia in younger people, accounting for around a third of young people with dementia.
  • Vascular dementia;is the second most common form of dementia in young people. ;Around 20% of young people with dementia have vascular dementia.
  • Around 12% of young people with dementia have;frontotemporal dementia. ;It most commonly occurs between the ages of 45-65. ;In about 40% of cases there is a family history of the condition.
  • Korsakoff’s syndrome;- around 10% of dementias in young people are caused by a lack of vitamin B1 , most commonly associated with alcohol abuse.
  • Around 10% of young people with dementia have dementia with;Lewy bodies.
  • Around 20% of young people with dementia have a ‘rarer’ form of the condition. ;Examples include conditions that can lead to dementia including Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease and Creutzfeld Jakob disease.

John took the first step himself and went to his GP.; His doctor told him he needed to use his brain more.; John had recently completed his Masters degree!

– Liz, supporting her brother John, with FTD

Problems Writing Or Speaking

The person may also have difficulty with words and communication. They may find it hard to follow or contribute to a conversation, or they may repeat themselves. They may also have difficulty writing down their thoughts.

The person may stop in the middle of a conversation, unable to figure out what to say next. They may also struggle to find the right word or label things incorrectly.

It is not uncommon for people to occasionally struggle to find the right word. Typically, they eventually remember it and do not experience the problem frequently.

Read Also: What Is The Most Significant Risk Factor For Alzheimer’s Disease

Where To Get Help

  • Your local community health centre
  • National Dementia Helpline Dementia Australia ;Tel. 1800 100 500
  • Aged Care Assessment Services Tel. 1300 135 090
  • My Aged Care 1800 200 422
  • Cognitive Dementia and Memory Service clinics Tel. 1300 135 090
  • Carers Victoria Tel. 1800 242 636
  • Commonwealth Carelink and Respite Centres Australian Government Tel. 1800 052 222
  • Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service Tel. 1800 699 799 for 24-hour telephone advice for carers and care workers

The Needs Of People Affected By Young Onset Dementia

Best 25+ Early onset dementia ideas on Pinterest ...

People living with young onset dementia and their family members state that they need:

  • early recognition of the signs and symptoms suggestive of dementia
  • accurate and timely diagnosis
  • awareness of their condition, especially from health and social care professionals
  • specialist information at the time of diagnosis
  • identification of a person who specialises in young onset dementia to support them and their family to work on a support plan to meet their needs
  • better communication between agencies
  • access to a specialist helpline
  • support around employment issues
  • emotional support and relationship counselling
  • age-appropriate information, advice and support to stay active and maintain independence
  • age-appropriate meaningful occupation and activities
  • to feel connected to others
  • peer support groups
  • support to retain a life beyond caring

Early recognition and timely accurate diagnosis of dementia, combined with appropriate specialist support, can reduce the distress experienced by the person with young onset dementia and their family.

If you have any cause for concern, it is a good idea to make an appointment to see a doctor. Seeing a doctor early on can reduce anxiety and worry and provide you with answers.

Read Also: How To Differentiate Delirium From Dementia

What Are The Symptoms Of Early

For most people with early-onset Alzheimer disease, the symptoms closely mirror those of other forms of Alzheimer disease.

Early symptoms:

  • Withdrawal from work and social situations

  • Changes in mood and personality

Later symptoms:

  • Severe mood swings and behavior changes

  • Deepening confusion about time, place, and life events

  • Suspicions about friends, family, or caregivers

  • Trouble;speaking, swallowing, or walking

  • Severe memory loss

People Diagnosed Before Age 65 Present Unique Care Challenges

Fewer Canadians are diagnosed with dementia before age 65 than as seniors but their needs can be just as great.

Young-onset dementia is diagnosed before age 65 and tends to be unique in many ways. Early-onset forms of adult neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimers, vascular and frontotemporal dementia are some of the most common causes of dementia in those younger than 65. At the time of diagnosis, people with young-onset dementia may still be working, taking care of their children and parents, and meeting financial commitments . Of all Canadians with dementia, the proportion younger than 65 is approximately 3%. Among the 2,481 patients younger than 65 hospitalized with dementia, 54% were male.

People with young-onset dementia tend to stay longer in hospital, and a higher proportion of them have extremely long hospital stays. This may be due to difficulties in finding age-appropriate services for younger patients. In addition, people with young-onset dementia tend to be physically fit, so finding appropriate home supports may take time.

Recommended Reading: How Long Does It Take For Dementia To Progress

What Is Younger Onset Dementia

Younger onset dementia is used to describe any form of dementia that develops in people under the age of 65. Dementia has been diagnosed in people in their 50s, 40s and even in their 30s. It is sometimes called early onset dementia.

Younger onset dementia is similar to other types of dementia in many ways. The same problems generally occur, but the disease can have a different impact on a younger person because they are more likely to be employed full time, raising a family or financially responsible for a family.

The Stigma Of Young Onset Dementia

Early onset dementia

Because dementia is so strongly associated with older people, younger people can feel extra stigma and discrimination. A younger person may not be believed when they say they have been diagnosed with dementia. This attitude can add to a persons problems. For example, one woman with dementia reported being laughed at when she told others she had dementia . Another woman with dementia who talks to medical students about her condition as part of their training says, The first barrier you meet is that people dont believe that you can have dementia if you can still function. To others, these women seemed too young and too well to have dementia, and so they did not get the courtesy and respect they deserved. Later, a younger person may feel and look out of place in a care home where most other people are in their 80s and 90s.

Terry Pratchett talks about the stigma of a dementia diagnosis in a video from the Alzheimers Society.

Also Check: Does Meredith Grey Have Alzheimer’s

The Major Causes Of Dementia

Alzheimer’s disease, vascular disease, FTLD, and dementia with Lewy bodies are the most common diseases that cause dementia both in the elderly and in younger patients, although not in those who are younger than 35 years. However, the clinical features of these diseases in younger patients can differ from those seen at a later age.

Stage 2: Age Associated Memory Impairment

This stage features occasional lapses of memory most frequently seen in:

  • Forgetting where one has placed an object
  • Forgetting names that were once very familiar

Oftentimes, this mild decline in memory is merely normal age-related cognitive decline, but it can also be one of the earliest signs of degenerative dementia. At this stage, signs are still virtually undetectable through clinical testing. Concern for early onset of dementia should arise with respect to other symptoms.

Read Also: What Diseases Are Similar To Alzheimer’s

What Is The Cause Of Dementia At A Younger Age

Alzheimers disease is the most common cause of dementia. It is a progressive disease that destroys memory and other critical mental processes. In the course of Alzheimers, brain cells and their compounds degenerate and die. It has a destructive effect on memory and other essential mental functions, leading to dementia. The average early-onset dementia age ranges in patients from 30 to 60 years old.

People who suffer from dementia at a younger age often have a common condition, known as sporadic Alzheimers. Genetics do not determine this disease, and science does not have an explanation about what causes it at such a young age.

The other type of early-onset Alzheimers is familial Alzheimers disease. People suffering from this condition are likely to have close relatives who suffered from a similar illness.

How The Process Works

eNewsletter February 2015

The whole process is a bit complicated, but the bad white blood cells set off a chain reaction in the body that eventually leads to early onset dementia. The CSF1R is made up of alleles, like all human genes. These bad white blood cells cause at least one of the alleles to mutate and cause cerebral amyloid angiopathy . CAA is a harmful rise in the production of the amyloid protein.

The amyloid protein then harms the bodys macrophages, leading to a reduced ability to fight harmful cells and substances. One of those substances, amyloid, is normally healthy for people, but it blocks blood flow to the brain in abundance. Without macrophages being able to clear the access amyloid, a person is at risk for strokes, which will lead to dementia.

Don’t Miss: How Do You Avoid Dementia

Behavioral Variant Frontotemporal Dementia

Behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia was previously known as Pick’s disease, and is the most common of the FTD types. BvFTD is diagnosed four times more than the PPA variants. Behavior can change in BvFTD in either of two waysit can change to being impulsive and disinhibited, acting in socially unacceptable ways; or it can change to being listless and apathetic. About 1213% of people with bvFTD develop motor neuron disease.

The Pick bodies in behavioral variant FTD are spherical inclusion bodies found in the cytoplasm of affected cells. They consist of tau fibrils as a major component together with a number of other protein products including ubiquitin and tubulin.

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.
Understanding the genetics of dementia

Read more about the risk factors behind dementia that may be genetic or;hereditary.

Don’t Miss: How Long Does Uti Dementia Last

Stage 4: Mild Dementia

At this stage, individuals may start to become socially withdrawn and show changes in personality and mood. Denial of symptoms as a defense mechanism is commonly seen in stage 4. Behaviors to look for include:

  • Difficulty remembering things about one’s personal history
  • Disorientation
  • Difficulty recognizing faces and people

In stage 4 dementia, individuals have no trouble recognizing familiar faces or traveling to familiar locations. However, patients in this stage will often avoid challenging situations in order to hide symptoms or prevent stress or anxiety.

Behavioural And Psychiatric Assessment

Early onset dementia, diagnosis, younger people with dementia: Ann’s story

The behavioural examination begins during history-taking, with an assessment of the patient’s bearing, their interactions with others, and their spontaneous conversation. This assessment is particularly important in patients with behavioural variant FTLD, who might not have deficits on formal cognitive testing but who might make fatuous remarks, perseverate, or have environmental dependency . Patients with loss of emotional reactivity might appear inexplicably aloof or hostile. The patient’s approach to testing might also be informative . Conversely, patients with Alzheimer’s disease generally have a well preserved social appearance but might appear passive during the interview, turning often to their partner to answer questions . In addition to close observation of the patient, it is important to record a history of behavioural and psychiatric symptoms, emphasising the need for a corroborating history from an informant who knows the patient well. Some dementias might present with prominent delusions or other psychotic features; conversely, the profound apathy of negative symptom schizophrenia might mimic a degenerative frontal lobe syndrome. Some patients who present with a static behavioural syndrome and normal imaging might have non-degenerative FTLD phenocopies. Features of REM sleep behaviour disorder should also be sought in the history as this favours a diagnosis of dementia with Lewy bodies.

Don’t Miss: How To Calm Down A Dementia Person

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.

Causes Of Early Onset Dementia And Alzheimers

Early onset dementia is increasingly linked to two causes: autoimmune and metabolic .

Even though there is some genetic component, genetic predisposition for Alzheimers disease accounts for less than 1% of Alzheimers cases, making epigenetics, or the impact of a persons lifestyle and environment, a far bigger predictor of cognitive health than genetics alone.;

Early onset dementia caused by metabolic dysfunction can be impacted by things like blood sugar balance, insulin sensitivity, digestive function, nutrient deficiencies status, and much more.

Early onset dementia caused by autoimmunity is often the result of systemic inflammation within the immune system which then attacks a part of the brain or nervous system required for;

healthy function.;

Alzheimers prevention and treatment requires the help of integrative medicine to properly address the dynamic nature of this condition.;

Don’t Miss: How Does Alzheimer’s Affect Family And Friends

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.

What Are The Risk Factors

Early Signs of Alzheimer

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.

Read Also: Can Low Fat Diet Cause Dementia

Terms And Information To Know

Before diving into the research, there are a few terms and some information youll need to be familiar with to understand it. The first one is the cerebrovascular pathologies. This refers to cerebrovascular diseases, which is essentially a blanket term for conditions that block blood flow to the brain. The word pathology refers to the cause and effects of a disease. For the research, think of the term cerebrovascular pathologies as meaning the causes of limited blood flow to the brain.

The second thing you need to know is that cerebrovascular pathologies lead to strokes, and strokes lead to dementia. According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons , cerebrovascular disease is the most prevalent life-threatening neurological occurrence in the United States, and stroke is the third leading cause of death.

Another term youll come across is the blood-brain barrier . This is exactly what it sounds like. Its a protective barrier that is extremely selective in what passes from the blood to the brain. In fact, its so protective that its been hard for scientists to create drugs that bypass this barrier. Neurological disorders and cerebrovascular disorders cause a breakdown in the BBB, resulting in central nervous system degeneration that can lead to conditions such as dementia.

What Are The First Signs Of Early

47 million people around the world suffer from age-related cognitive diseases. According to WHO forecasts, by 2030, this figure will increase up to 75 million people.

However, dementia does not always depend on the factor of aging. Alzheimers is the most common condition among young people that leads to the development of dementia. It accounts for up to 80% of dementia cases.

Unfortunately, there is currently no effective medicine or therapy that could cure dementia. Nevertheless, if you notice the symptoms at an early stage, a simple lifestyle change can significantly slow down the development of the disease. Find out what can cause dementia and take action to prevent its development already now!

Also Check: Can Nootropics Help With Dementia


Most Popular