Posted on Apr 19, 2022
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) does not only affect in old age. More than 10 million people in India suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and have a younger onset. AD in India is a disease often misinterpreted, misdiagnosed and misunderstood. It is considered a psychological issue and has a social stigma associated with it, where it is a neurological degenerative disease.
Who suffers from the early onset of Alzheimer’s?
Many patients with an early onset are usually in their 40’s & 50’s. They have careers, families or are themselves, caregivers when struck by Alzheimer’s disease. As per estimates, around 10 lakh patients in India have an early onset of the disease.
Diagnosis of early onset Alzheimer’s
Usually, health care providers do not try identifying Alzheimer’s disease amongst younger crowd, availing a diagnosis of the early onset of Alzheimer’s disease with accuracy could be long and a frustrating process. The symptoms are often wrongly linked with stress or there could be conflicting diagnoses as per different healthcare professional. Patients who suffer from early onset Alzheimer’s disease could be in any phase of dementia:- early stage, middle stage, and late stage. This disease affects every person in different ways and also the symptoms vary.
If someone experiences memory problems:-
• They should undergo a comprehensive medical evaluation under a doctor specializing in treating Alzheimer’s disease. Getting diagnosis done comprises medical exams and also possibly some cognitive tests, neurological exam and/or brain imaging.
• They should make notes of the symptoms of their loss of memory or the other cognitive issues for sharing with their doctor.
• They should remember that there isn’t one particular test which confirms Alzheimer’s disease. Hence, they should undergo comprehensive medical evaluation for precise diagnosis.
Causes of the early onset of Alzheimer’s
The factors causing early onset of Alzheimer’s disease at a young age have not been precisely understood yet. However, scientists have indicated towards many rare genes which directly lead to Alzheimer’s, within few hundreds of families globally. Patients that inherit the rare genes usually tend to experience the symptoms in the early 30s, 40s & 50s. Familial Alzheimer’s disease occurs when Alzheimer’s disease is caused due to deterministic genes and several members of the family are affected by it till multiple generations.