One of the first signs of dementia that can occur in under 65s
Early onset dementia detailed by NHS expert
Early or young onset dementia is when symptoms develop before the age of 65, usually between 30 to 65 years of age. It accounts for an estimated 2 to 8 percent of all dementia cases.
But as dementia is frequently thought of as a condition associated with old age, the early symptoms of young onset dementia are not always recognised.
Abbas Kanani, pharmacist at Chemist Click Online Pharmacy, outlined the first signs to look out for.
He said: “Usually, one of the first signs is memory lapses which interrupt everyday life.
“Forgetting newly learned information, important dates, repeating the same questions over and over, and increasingly needing to rely on reminders such as notes or electronic devices.
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“Challenges with planning or solving problems and difficulty completing tasks may also increase in frequency.”
Some common early symptoms such as forgetfulness and memory issues may appear some time before a diagnosis of dementia and this can lead to symptoms being missed or attributed to other lifestyle factors, such as stress or tiredness, warned Kanani.
He added: “You might not notice these symptoms if you have them, and family and friends may not notice or take them seriously for some time.”
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Dementia is not a natural part of ageing, so it’s important to speak to a GP sooner rather than later if you’re worried about memory problems or other symptoms.
The causes of young onset dementia are similar to the diseases that usually cause dementia in older people, says the Alzheimer’s Society.
However, some causes, such as frontotemporal dementia (FTD), are more common in younger people.
The charity explains: “Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of early onset dementia and may affect around one in three younger people with dementia.”
But adds: “Younger people are much more likely to have an ‘atypical’ (unusual) form of Alzheimer’s disease.”
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