Young-onset Dementia: The Warning Signs

Diagnosis of dementia is overwhelming regardless of age; however, a diagnosis in young people presents a major challenge. Young-onset dementia symptoms can start from the age of 30 and progress to the age of 50. Your Board certified family nurse practitioner in Falls Church, VA, helps individuals make a proper diagnosis which is essential in slowing down the disease progression and enabling you to maintain your cognitive function.

Dementia 101

Dementia is a slow and progressive decline in cognitive function that can lead to impaired memory, thinking, and learning. The symptoms range from memory loss, personality change, speech problems, and disorientation.

Most of the time, dementia occurs in people above 65 years and can lead to disruptive behavior. For this reason, most people prefer booking their loved ones in nursing homes for specialized treatment and care. However, young-onset dementia may not require hospitalization as it can interfere with your productive years.

Signs of young-onset dementia

The most common symptom is a loss of memory that hampers your everyday life. For early dementia detection, you will experience short-term memory problems such as an appointment or losing items. 

Temporal orientation can occur sometimes and it can lead to a loss of a sense of direction. For instance, if you can no longer find your way home and are unable to differentiate what time of the day it is.

If you cannot manage your daily routine, it can be a warning signal of dementia. For instance, if you cannot use the TV remote control, computer, or washing machine.

Another red flag is difficulty in solving a problem or planning. For example, if you cannot follow a certain routine from the beginning to the end. You may miss a step, which can be a concern that can lead to a loss of self-confidence.

A language disorder is another symptom where you may have difficulties expressing yourself. You may struggle to find words to explain something.  

Also, young-onset dementia can manifest in personality changes. You may get easily irritated and this can affect how you relate to those around you. When it reaches this point, you may lack enthusiasm, and a feeling of neglect or withdrawal may engulf you.

There is a thin line between forgetfulness and dementia

It takes several progressive symptoms to make a proper diagnosis of dementia. The specialists observe the changes in the behavior before concluding that an individual has dementia.

The progression of the symptoms varies amongst individuals and your doctor will make a diagnosis based on the symptoms. A physical exam, mental status tests, and blood tests are conducted to find out the cause. Also, the specialist may order imaging of the brain for further analysis. Treatment focuses on ensuring you maintain your cognitive function for a long period.

Many drugs treat the symptoms of dementia and these include sedatives, anti-depressants, and anti-anxiety medicine. You must consult your specialist before buying the drugs over the counter.Creating a safe and loving environment can be helpful, and certain medications can relieve the symptoms of young-onset dementia. Book an appointment with the Integrated Neurology Services professionals who will discuss and decide the best strategy to enable you to live normally.