Early Onset Alzheimers Symptoms

Living With Alzheimer's

Early Onset Alzheimers Symptoms

Alzheimers disease is most commonly a disease affecting people above the age of 65. In some rare circumstances, about 5% of the time, it has been known to affect younger people, even in their 30s. This form of the disease is referred to as early onset Alzheimers.

Because Alzheimers disease is associated with older people, early onset Alzheimers symptoms are quite often dismissed or put down to another cause such as stress. However, it is exceeding important to seek medical advice if you think you or a loved one are experiencing early onset Alzheimers symptoms.

Early onset Alzheimers symptoms are similar to the symptoms experienced in late onset Alzheimers disease. This form of Alzheimers is often linked to genetics with the mutation of 3 genes thought be responsible. These 3 genes are PSEN1 (presenilin-1), PSEN2 (presenilin-2) and APP (amyloid precursor protein). It is therefore thought that if you have a relative, parent or grandparent, who suffered early onset Alzheimers disease, you have a greater chance of developing this form of the disease.

Genetic testing is carried out on people to find out if they are carriers of the gene mutations. This may be particularly important in order to make decisions as to child bearing, child care and perhaps prepare loved ones for the possibility of dealing with early onset Alzheimers symptoms.

People with Down’s syndrome have also been found to be more susceptible to early onset Alzheimers disease and this is thought to be because they age prematurely.

The early onset Alzheimers symptoms are also divided into early symptoms, progressive symptoms and later symptoms. The earliest symptoms of early onset Alzheimers are poor concentration and forgetfulness. As the disease progresses, an individual will experience impaired thinking and visual skills, memory loss, disorientation, poor judgment and impaired learning ability. Also as the disease progresses, the patient may be prone to frustration and depression.

Later symptoms are the same as those experienced in late onset Alzheimers with a patient needing almost full time care.

As some of the early onset Alzheimers symptoms are similar to other neurological disorders and due to the fact that Alzheimers disease is considered a disease of the elderly, it is quite often misdiagnosed. Doctors may think that a younger person may be suffering from conditions such as drug side effects or drug interactions, infections affecting the brain such as syphilis, encephalitis and meningitis, malnutrition, epilepsy, stroke, ADHD, schizophrenia and brain injury.

The misdiagnosis of early onset Alzheimers symptoms is the main reason this form of the disease is thought to progress more rapidly than the late onset form. This is in part because younger people get diagnosed when the disease has progressed to the middle stage when symptoms are more severe.