Generally, we think of Alzheimer’s as a disease that affects the elderly. More often than not, that’s true. The typical Alzheimer’s symptoms begin when an individual is in his or her 60s, and become progressively more serious over time. Sometimes, though, the signs and symptoms of dementia will begin earlier in life — sometimes when an individual is only in his or her 40s or 50s.
This is what’s known as early onset Alzheimer’s. This type of Alzheimer’s accounts for about five percent of the five million Alzheimer’s cases in the United States. It has claimed the lives of some famous Americans — most recently basketball legend Pat Summit, who was diagnosed at 59 and was dead by 64. Her story illustrates one of the tough truths of early onset Alzheimer’s: It tends to progress rapidly. At this point there isn’t a cure—though there are plenty of ways to care for Alzheimer’s patients and to make their life as joy-filleDemend as possible.
What causes early onset Alzheimer’s, though? The science here is anything but sure. The one thing that’s known is that those who have a family history of early onset Alzheimer’s tend to be at a heightened risk for it.
As for symptoms, Alzheimer’s is known for its memory loss effects. This is sometimes true of the early onset variety, though not always. Actually, in about a quarter of early onset cases, the initial symptoms include trouble holding a steady gaze, problems with speech, or issues making mental calculations.
Those with early onset Alzheimer’s tend to have, on average, at least a decade of life left—though again, right now there is not a cure. What we can offer at CountryHouse are plenty of ways to nurture and support those who have received this diagnosis, including memory care treatment and more. Learn more about the ways we can enrich the lives of those with early onset dementia; contact us at CountryHouse today.
If you’ve noticed any signs or symptoms of Alzheimer’s in your loved one, contact us today.