Young-Onset Dementia

In my readings, I've come across a term that was new to me.  It is "Young-Onset Dementia."

Young-Onset Dementia is dementia that begins before the age of 45.  Early Onset Dementia covers dementia which happens between the ages of 45 and 65.  Some definitions of Young-Onset Dementia includes anything before 65.  A Mayo Clinic study found that Alzheimer's Disease was not the primary cause for Young-Onset Dementia.  It was more likely to be a "neurodegenerative or autoimmune/inflammatory condition."  A Johns Hopkins Alert lists several of these conditions, including Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

The doctors who conducted the Mayo Clinic Study, Brendan J. Kelley, MD, Bradley F. Boeve, MD and Keith A. Josephs, MD MST have also written the following related articles:

Young-Onset Dementia: Demographic and Etiologic Characteristics of 235 Patients
Rapidly Progressive Young-Onset Dementia 
Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Neurological Features of Young-Onset Dementia

One of the challenges that Young-Onset Dementia presents is that most dementia related services are geared towards the geriatric patients and it may be a challenge for a patient in their 30's, for example, to receive the needed services as a result of their age alone.  Despite this, caregivers are encouraged to reach out to local resources for the aging and the Alzheimer's Association for assistance.

While the research on Young-Onset Dementia has focused on individuals who were not intellectually disabled at the time of diagnosis, the research articles are interesting on their own.

Additional Information Sources:
Young Dementia

Related PubMed Central Articles:
The diagnosis of young-onset dementia 
The prevalence and causes of dementia in people under the age of 65 years (pdf)


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