You Suddenly Despise Any Kind Of Change
When dementia sufferers are experiencing confusion and memory changes, it’s common for them to stick to a strict routine, as a way to coping and feeling safer.
This might take the form of sticking to the same route on your way to work, or taking the same streets to get to the grocery store. But it’s not just about the routine â since many people have a preferred way of getting places â but the reasons why you’re always following the same path.
If you get confused when going another way, for example, or feel incredibly disoriented when deviating from your usual path, there’s a chance it’s an early warning sign of dementia.
Alzheimers At Age : An Old
The first thing I noticed in my husband were some personality changes.
Ken and I had just recently gotten married and built a house, and we had three children who were then 8, 4, and 3 years old.
Somehow, Ken just seemed different.
One time he called me from a local store because he couldnt remember how to get home. Another time, he went to pick up our kids and ended up going completely in the wrong direction. He was getting headaches. He started forgetting things at work memory problems that eventually led to him losing his job.
I knew something was wrong.
Confusion About Location And Time
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.
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Hope Is High For Large Trial Underway Of 5000
Indeed, one of the most anticipated clinical trials under way at this moment involves a large Colombian family of over 5,000 members who may carry an early-onset Alzheimers gene. Three hundred family members will participate in this trial in which half of those people who are young and years away from symptoms but who have the Alzheimers gene will receive a drug that has been shown to decrease the production of beta-amyloid. The other half will take a placebo and will comprise the control group.
Neither patient nor doctor will know whether they will be receiving the active drug, which helps eliminate any potential biases. The trial will last 5 years and although it will involve a small percentage of people with early-onset Alzheimers, the information from the trial could be applied to millions of people worldwide who will develop the more conventional, late-onset form of Alzheimers disease.
Currently there are no effective treatments or cure for Alzheimers and the only medications available are palliative in nature. What is critically needed are disease-modifying drugs: those drugs that actually stop the beta-amyloid in its tracks. Devastating as early-onset Alzheimers is, there is hope that prevention trials as described above could ultimately lead to effective treatments in the near future for this insidious disease.
Earlier Prevention And Intervention
Researchers plan to look at a larger number of seniors to determine if the ones with higher amyloid build up have a higher risk for Alzheimers or dementia. Because of the smaller sample size of this study, it was hard to determine how much variability there is among the general population. Some seniors in the study were found to have the same amount of amyloid buildup that was also seen in the brains of younger adults.
Dr. Yvette Sheline, professor of psychiatry, radiology and neurology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, noted that while it was interesting to see amyloid accumulation at an early age, the findings were based on a small handful of brain samples and that it was impossible to know if the younger adults would ultimately develop Alzheimers, or if beta-amyloid accumulation is a normal part of human physiology.
Taking into consideration the small sample size, other researchers believe the new findings may be instrumental in providing insight into the beginning of Alzheimers. Geula is hopeful that the findings of his team will lead to early intervention and a new way to treat the disease. He said:
The implication appears to be that if we want to prevent these clumps from forming when a person becomes old, we may need to intervene much earlier than we have thought, to try and get rid of amyloid very early in life.
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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.
Tony In Help On C4 What Condition Does He Have
Events take place in a fictional care home at the start of the pandemic.
Tony is by far the youngest resident in the Liverpool care home as a result of his early-onset Alzheimers diagnosis.
The character of Tony is only 47, but his condition causes periods of confusion and violent outbursts.
There are heartbreaking scenes when he remembers his beloved mother is dead.
Actor Stephen spent time with people who suffer from Alzheimers as research for the role.
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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.
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.
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:
- Memory loss
- 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.
You Can’t Remember Anyone’s Name
Recalling information is another issue many people with dementia can struggle with, so consider it a red flag if you can no longer remember people’s names.
“When at a social gathering, you forget names of people you just met,” Dr. Schreiber says. Or you might not be able to remember a friend’s name when telling a story.
If you’ve always been bad with names then this shouldn’t be a cause for concern. But if you find yourself blanking on a more regular basis, it may be time to get yourself checked.
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Signs Of Early Onset Dementia
It is important to recognize the signs of early-onset dementia. Even though we dont have a cure or treatment for dementia, having a diagnosis can help families plan for the future and address quality of life issues. These are some of the signs of the mental decline associated with early-onset dementia.
- Memory problems and difficulty learning and retaining new information
- Asking the same information over and over again
- Trouble solving problems like keeping up with paying bills, cooking, or following directions
- Losing track of the day or time of year
- Trouble with depth perception or other visual problems
- Getting lost or wandering
Should You Be Tested For Alzheimer’s
If you’re terrified of the disease — or it runs in your family — you might want to get tested. Here’s why.
July 9, 2000 — In the fall of 1998, Barbara and Les Dennis sat at the table in their Chicago home, deep in the throes of retirement planning. Barbara had printed out a spreadsheet showing their sources of income as well as the bills they’d have to pay. Les, a college professor in his early 60s, studied it and then tossed it back on the table. “It doesn’t make any sense,” he told her. Figuring that Les’ poor eyesight was at fault, Barbara redid the spreadsheet, using larger and bolder type, and patiently began to explain the figures. But Les exploded in frustration: “You’re just trying to figure out how you can save all the money until I die!”
“That’s when I knew something was really wrong,” Barbara says. Les wasn’t the type to erupt in anger, he wasn’t given to irrational fears — and as a professor at Loyola University, he certainly wasn’t a man to get confused over a column of numbers.
One month later, even Les agreed that something was wrong. He underwent testing for depression and anxiety. His brain was scanned for signs of a stroke. Finally, he took a battery of cognitive tests that gave him the diagnosis he dreaded: early Alzheimer’s.
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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.
Diagnosis Of Young Onset Dementia
- On average, a person may see between two and five different consultants before a diagnosis is made
- The average time to diagnosis is 4.4 years in younger people compared to 2.2 years for people aged over 65
- In England in August 2018, the estimated dementia diagnosis rate for under 65s was 41%, compared to 68% for people aged over 65
- Awareness amongst GPs is still relatively low and when people are younger, symptoms are often attributed to stress, anxiety, depression or menopause
- People who are under 65 are more likely to be diagnosed with a genetically inherited form of dementia or a rarer dementia that can be difficult to recognise
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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 since 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.
Difficulty Completing Everyday Tasks
The person may have difficulty completing an otherwise familiar task. For example, they may find it hard to:
- get to a grocery store, restaurant, or place of employment
- follow the rules of a familiar game
- prepare a simple meal
Sometimes, people need help with new or unfamiliar things as they get older, such as the settings on a new phone. However, this does not necessarily indicate a problem.
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Mood Or Personality Changes
Someone with Alzheimers disease may start to experience a low mood. They may feel irritable, confused, anxious, or depressed. They may also lose interest in things they used to enjoy.
They may become frustrated with their symptoms or feel unable to understand the changes taking place. This may present as aggression or irritability toward others.
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.
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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.
How Is It Diagnosed
There is no one test indicating Alzheimer’s. A thorough medical history and complete medical exam can help rule out other health issues that might produce dementia-type symptoms. A neurological test of cognitive function, including counting, memory and problem solving, may be given. Blood tests and brain imaging–typically an MRI–can indicate other possible conditions. In some highly individual cases genetic testing may be considered in making a diagnosis. This depends on a variety of factors, including the age of the patient and availability of family members who may have already developed the disease. Cost and insurance coverage can be another factor, since the test is expensive.
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Risk Factors To Consider
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 Alzheimers.
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.
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 genes may be carried from one generation to the next within a family. Carrying this gene can result in adults younger than age 65 developing symptoms much earlier than expected.
Memory Loss That Impedes Daily Activities
The most noticeable symptom of Alzheimers disease is often memory loss. A person may start forgetting messages or recent events in a way that is unusual for them. They may repeat questions, having forgotten either the answer or the fact that they already asked.
It is not uncommon for people to forget things as they get older, but with early onset Alzheimers disease, this happens earlier in life, occurs more often, and seems out of character.
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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.