Early Onset Alzheimer's

Few people realize that there is a rare form of Alzheimer's disease which can start at age 40-50. It is called early-onset Alzheimer's disease. Unfortunately, it is rarely diagnosed in a timely manner or confused with mental illness. This neurological condition impairs memory, attention, judgment, thinking and emotions. The condition may interfere with work and cause stress with family. If you or a loved one has any of the below-listed symptoms, it is important to see a neurologist to be evaluated and tested. Early-onset Alzheimer's disease may well qualify an individual for Social Security disability benefits. A proper diagnosis may remove the frustration, distress and misconception that a misdiagnosis of a psychiatric condition or multiple sclerosis may cause. Also, the medical and medication treatments may be incorrect with an improper diagnosis.

The symptoms are varied but may include:

  • memory problems and forgetfulness
  • confusion
  • difficulty completing simple tasks
  • difficulty communicating
  • personality changes
  • restlessness/insomnia
  • trouble performing simple tasks
  • impaired judgment
  • problems with communication/language
  • impaired visual spacial issues
  • social withdrawal
  • loss of motivation
  • myoclonus (muscle twitching and spasms)

It is estimated that up to 400,000 to 500,000 Americans suffer from early-onset Alzheimer's. If you feel you or your loved one has any of these symptoms, please set up an appointment with a neurologist. MRI's, PET scans and neuropsychological testing may also be helpful.

For more information, contact your local chapter of the Alzheimer's Association 1(800)-272-3900

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