For most, Alzheimer’s symptoms start once they hit their 70s, but, for some, this disease comes much sooner. When that happens, it is called early-onset Alzheimer’s. Some people can be affected as early as their 30s, but anyone who receives this diagnosis before the age of 65 is considered to have early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease.
Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Symptoms
One of the most common symptoms of early-onset Alzheimer’s is forgetting important things. This is especially true of dates or information that was recently learned. Sufferers can also ask for the same information again and again as they have difficulties with short-term memory.
In addition, signs of early-onset Alzheimer’s include your loved one having trouble solving simple problems or forgetting something they know well such as a recipe they have made many times.
Other symptoms can include:
- Not knowing where they are
- Not knowing how to get home
- Not knowing the date or year
- Poor judgment
- Withdrawal from family or friends
- Mood swings
Average Age of Alzheimer’s Onset
While early-onset Alzheimer’s is a rare form of the disease, around 200,000 people in the United States have the illness. For those who have the disease before the age of 65, the average Alzheimer’s age of onset is between their 40s and 50s, although it is possible to be diagnosed even in one’s 30s.
Many people who show Alzheimer’s symptoms at an early age have a form of Alzheimer’s that is called familial Alzheimer’s. Most often, they have a grandparent or parent who was also diagnosed with the disease at an earlier age.
Of course, there are those who suffer from early-onset Alzheimer’s who do not have a family connection to the disease. It is not currently known why they have symptoms earlier than others.
Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease Life Expectancy
When it comes to this disease, life expectancy can range from a few years to even 20. It really depends on the overall health of the patient and how severe their symptoms are. Having said that, one of the major factors of life expectancy is the age when symptoms appear.
For those who are diagnosed at age 65, life expectancy is 8.3 years compared to those who are diagnosed at age 90, who have a life expectancy of 3.4 years.
Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Test
There are a lot of online resources for those who are wondering if they or a loved one may have Alzheimer’s symptoms. This includes free tests to determine your cognitive ability. You can find one at www.foodforthebrain.org. It’s free and takes about 15 minutes.
There is also a chart that lists 10 of the early signs of Alzheimer’s that can be found on www.alz.org. Of course, if you are concerned about your health, your first stop should be your doctor. Like with any disease, early detection and education can help improve your outcomes and quality of life.