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At What Age Does Alzheimer's Start?

March 16, 2022
At What Age Does Alzheimer's Start?
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Alzheimer's disease is a devastating medical condition that affects millions of families every year. The early stages of this disease often appear at age 65 and can progress rapidly from there. Early-onset Alzheimer's disease can start to show in patients as young as their mid-'30s to '40s. Alzheimer's isn't just difficult for the patient; this progressive disease is also hard for the family and loved ones who struggle watching someone they care about slip away. This is why it is imperative to understand the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and what can be done to slow down its progression. Although there is no known cure, there are treatments that can help alleviate symptoms and improve patients' well-being.

Usual Onset and Progression of Alzheimer's Disease

The average age of dementia onset for Alzheimer's patients is right around the mid-60s, and the chances of developing this disease will double every five years after that. Typically, patients who have Alzheimer's will begin to show symptoms about two years after their diagnosis, and the progression will start to speed up from there. While it can be complicated to predict the specific progression timeframe for each individual, studies suggest the expected life expectancy after diagnosis is between three and eleven years. The way the disease progresses can vary slightly depending on age, race, gender, and other factors.

Early-Onset Alzheimer's

Early-onset Alzheimer's patients can be shockingly young. While early-onset refers to people under the age of 65, many patients with an early diagnosis are in their 40's to '50s, and some can even begin to show dementia symptoms in their early 30s. Early-onset Alzheimer's can start with simple symptoms such as losing your keys frequently or missing appointments regularly and then gradually increase to more severe issues such as forgetting faces or mood and behavioral changes. Because these symptoms of Alzheimer's disease may also be a product of other conditions, younger people experiencing such symptoms will require an experienced specialist to accurately assess and diagnose Alzheimer disease.

What is young-onset Alzheimer's?

Young-onset Alzheimer's disease is simply another way to say early-onset Alzheimer's disease. This is for those patients who begin to notice symptoms of dementia at an earlier age than usual. This can be a very difficult diagnosis to make since this disease isn't the first thing people think about in younger patients and can be associated with other concerns such as stress and anxiety. This can postpone diagnosis and require multiple tests, appointments, and treatments before a diagnosis is made.

Who gets young-onset Alzheimer's?

A big question frequently asked is, "is early-onset dementia hereditary?" Currently, the only known cause for young-onset Alzheimer's disease is a family history or "familial Alzheimer's." Little is known regarding this form of dementia, which makes it difficult to figure out what causes it. The single common factor when comparing different cases is that this disease typically runs in the families, and typically someone related to the patient has also been diagnosed.

what age does Alzheimer's start

Diagnosing Young-Onset Alzheimer's Disease

To diagnose young-onset Alzheimer's, you first start with exploring the symptoms. Once the symptoms fit the disease, testing and scans can then be completed to create a final diagnosis.

Early symptoms of dementia frequently include:

  • Mood and personality changes
  • Asking the same questions over and over
  • Difficulty finding the right words in a conversation
  • Forgetting important dates and information
  • Forgetting the date or losing track of time
  • Increasingly poor judgment in daily life
  • Losing track of your location or why you are there
  • Vision issues such as losing depth perception
  • Trouble following directions or losing track of things such as paying bills
  • Misplacing items frequently without the ability to backtrack your steps
  • Withdrawal from social situations

With increasing age, people develop additional symptoms such as more severe memory problems, difficulty speaking, increasing difficulty performing familiar tasks, and other difficulties.

If you have experienced these symptoms, the next step is visiting your physician's office, where they will perform a whole slew of diagnostic tests, including the following:

  • Examine your health history
  • Perform cognitive tests of memory, problem-solving, and other mental skills.
  • Testing with a neuropsychologist
  • Testing on your blood, urine, and spinal fluid
  • You may also need brain scans such as MRIs and CTs. This will provide insight into any tissue damage on your brain.

It is important to see a physician with experience in diagnosing Alzheimer's disease. Your physician may refer you to specialists to perform various assessments and evaluations and rule out other medical conditions.


Key Points About Early-Onset Alzheimer Disease

While little is known about Alzheimer's disease as a whole, let alone Early-Onset Alzheimer's disease, there are many key points to keep in mind when attempting to obtain information about this diagnosis, whether it is for you or a family member.

  • While there is no cure, there are other treatments that can help improve quality of life, especially when diagnosed early.
  • Most people know this disease affects memory, behavior, and everyday thinking; you may not know the use of drugs and alcohol can amplify these symptoms.
  • A healthy diet and frequent exercise can help improve quality of life and daily moods and emotions.
  • Understanding your family's health history and tracking your symptoms can help you stay on top of the disease and begin treatment as soon as possible.
  • The idea of early-onset dementia for a patient in their 30s is so uncommon that professionals can overlook it, prolonging the time necessary for useful treatment.


The Need for Further Research

Because very little is known about Alzheimer's disease, there are still limited options for treatment and extension of life. The best way to help improve patient care and eventually cure this terrible illness is through further research and by analyzing one Alzheimer's case at a time.

There are many ways you can help improve the way Alzheimer's disease and Early-onset Alzheimer's disease are tested, diagnosed, and treated. One way is simply by getting paid to participate in clinical trials to aid in the research of this degenerative brain disease.

what age does Alzheimer's start

Benefits of Alzheimer's Clinical Trials in Tampa

The youngest case of Alzheimer's disease is believed to be 31 years old. However, the typical early-onset Alzheimer's age range is between 40 and 50. This is much too young for people to develop such a debilitating and tragic disease.

The best way to understand Alzheimer's in order to properly treat it and one day eliminate it is through hard-working professional researchers conducting clinical trials, like the trials currently being performed through Santos Research Center, Corp.


Why partake in clinical trials for young-onset Alzheimer's?

  • Gain access to top medical professionals: If you or a loved one suspect or have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, these trials in Tampa provide access to leading medical researchers who have tons of experience, knowledge, and passion working in this specific field.
  • Early access to new treatments: As technology evolves, advances in medicine do too, which provides professionals with the tools and materials required to create a treatment that can improve your condition.
  • Getting paid to participate in a clinical trial: You won't only have access to great doctors, top-of-the-line treatment options, and the newest medications on the market; you will also be paid for your cooperation and time.
  • Meeting others going through the same things you are: When you are involved in clinical research trials, you have the opportunity to meet new people and even connect with others who are in the same position.

These are only a few of the benefits of participating in an Alzheimer's clinical trial in Tampa. You never know what type of discovery can be made during this research, and you don't want to miss out on being one of the first patients to experience improved health, years added to your life, or, more importantly, the cure we have all been looking for.


Summing Things Up

Alzheimer's disease is a scary diagnosis to receive, whether you are hearing about yourself, a spouse, or a friend. No matter who develops this terrible illness, everyone involved desperately wants helpful and effective treatment to prolong life, improve memory loss, and hopefully, through clinical trials and plenty of research, provide a solution for the millions who suffer.

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Santos Research Center, Corp. is a research facility conducting paid clinical trials, in partnership with major pharmaceutical companies & CROs. We work with patients from across the Tampa Bay area.

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