Early stages of dementia. What age can you can you be affected?
Early stages of dementia like Alzheimer’s and other medical dementias can affect different aged people. Some are are in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s.
There is no single, one type of person that cannot develop the disease. It can affect anybody from teachers and manual workers to professionals and scientists.
So why do young people develop dementia and how can we recognise the symptoms?.
Alzheimer’s disease amongst the young to middle-aged people is not something the medical professionals such as doctors and GP’s would usually look for. I mean who would think somebody in their 30’s 40’s or 50’s would develop dementia. Memory loss and confusion are often associated with other issues such as stress or anxiety problems so recognising early onset dementia can and often is, mistaken for other health issues.
So getting a correct diagnosis among younger people is often missed or mis-diagnosed for other medical problems. It is still not fully understood why somebody that is considered young, or old for that matter, should develop diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
What to do if you suspect a person has early stages of dementia
So what should you do if you suspect yourself or somebody you know is showing the signs of memory loss or confusion? The first thing to do is not to panic. In many cases loss of memory and confusion are associated with many other factors that can affect the mind such as prescribed drugs or stress. Tell tale signs of early stages of dementia can be forgetfulness, repeatedly telling the same story or sudden unusual behavior such as breaking or changing a routine. Playing games or recollecting a past memory can sometimes become difficult or confused for the individual. We have an article on the causes of memory loss here if you would like to know more on the reasons why we might lose our memory.
If you still suspect that you or somebody you know is showing the early stages of dementia then it important that you or the person goes to see a doctor.
Keep a record of forgetfulness and unusual behavior
You should try to keep a record in writing if possible of your or somebody’s else’s day-to-day behavior. By keeping a record of times and dates of memory loss and forgetfulness you will be able to check back on your records to see if there is a link when the symptoms are apparent. It help you show your concerns to a GP on how long and how the behavior is affecting the person.
As yet, there is no one single diagnosis for Alzheimer’s disease. So a doctor may refer you to a doctor who specialises on Alzheimer’s disease. These doctors have better recognition of the disease amongst younger people. You or the person that you are concerned about will probably have to have further tests carried out. This is to help evaluate whether the person has early onset Alzheimer’s or other related symptoms of memory loss.
Another useful resource for people concerned about their future is a dementia cafe. This is where like-minded people such as carers or individuals with early stages of the disease can meet. Here you are able to discuss any subject related to dementia. There are many specialist professionals located at a dementia cafe. You can go for great advise and to gain access to many helpful resources.
If you are diagnosed with early onset dementia there is plenty of support available in your community. There are many groups that deal with Alzheimer’s condition with many specializing with early stages of the disease.