Early Onset Dementia

Dementia is a term used to describe a group of symptoms associated with a decline in cognitive function, memory, thinking, and social abilities that are severe enough to interfere with daily life. It is not a specific disease but rather a syndrome that can be caused by various underlying conditions. 

Dementia is characterized by cognitive impairments that affect memory, thinking, reasoning, language, and problem-solving abilities. Individuals with dementia may experience difficulties with memory loss, confusion, disorientation, and problems with concentration and decision-making.

Dementia is typically progressive, meaning that the symptoms tend to worsen over time. The rate of progression varies depending on the underlying cause and the individual. As dementia progresses, individuals may experience a decline in their ability to perform everyday tasks and may require increasing levels of support and care.

What are the Causes of Early Onset Dementia?

The causes of Dementia for young people and adults are similar. However, some causes are more common in younger people, like frontotemporal Dementia (FTD). The following are causes of early-onset dementia:

  1.       Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease stands as a significant contributor to early-onset dementia, impacting one out of every three young individuals and roughly two out of every three older individuals who experience dementia

According to experts, Alzheimer’s disease is caused by mutation of genes and can be transferred from parents to their children. Several genes can cause the condition, but apolipoprotein E4 (APOE) is the most important of them all and is believed to increase the disease’s risk drastically.

Alzheimer’s disease occurs when plaques and tangles form in the brain. Plaques result from a buildup of beta-amyloid proteins, while tangles develop due to the accumulation of fibrous tangles consisting of tau proteins. The buildup of these proteins damages neurons and fibres in the brain.

  1. Vascular Dementia

Vascular Dementia is caused by damage to the blood vessels supplying blood to the brain. When these vessels are damaged, blood circulation to the brain is affected, leading to stroke and other cognitive problems. The condition is usually linked to diabetes and cardiovascular diseases like heart disease.

Symptoms of vascular dementia vary, but the most commonly include:

  •         Slowed thinking
  •         Issues with problem-solving
  •         Loss of focus
  •         Problems with decision making
  •         Physical symptoms like limb weakness, especially if you develop the disease after stroke

For people with vascular dementia, memory loss is less common compared to the above signs.

  1. Frontotemporal dementia

This form of Dementia often results from damage to nerve cells in the brain. Unlike other types of Dementia that are likely to develop with age, Frontotemporal Dementia occurs mainly in younger people between 45-65 years of age.

Symptoms of this disease commonly affect personality, language, behaviour, judgment, movement, and thinking.

  1. Alcohol-related brain damage

Prolonged and heavy alcohol consumption spanning multiple years can lead to detrimental effects on the brain. Alcohol-induced brain damage, known as Alcohol-Related Brain Damage (ARBD), is more commonly observed among men in their 40s and 50s.

The noticeable indications of dementia stemming from ARBD encompass difficulties in regulating emotions, strategic thinking, resolving issues, sustaining focus, and alterations in one’s personality, among other manifestations

  1. Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB)

Lewy bodies are clumps of proteins that are deposited in the brain of people with Lewy body dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. The condition is more common in older people than young people.

Some common signs and symptoms of Lewy body dementia include hallucinations and problems with alertness. Some people also develop symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, such as stiffness and slower movement.

Impact on Daily Life:

Dementia significantly impacts a person’s ability to carry out daily activities independently. Tasks such as managing finances, self-care, and maintaining social relationships may become challenging. Dementia can also affect behavior and personality, leading to changes in mood, agitation, aggression, and social withdrawal.

 

Diagnosis and Treatment:

A diagnosis of dementia is typically made through a comprehensive assessment that includes a medical history, physical examination, cognitive testing, and sometimes imaging or laboratory tests. While there is currently no cure for most types of dementia, some medications and interventions can help manage symptoms and slow down the progression of the disease. Treatment plans often involve a combination of medication, cognitive stimulation, behavioral interventions, and support for both the individual with dementia and their caregivers.

At P home care, our nursing support services are tailored to meet your unique healthcare needs. With our skilled and compassionate nursing team, we provide individualized care, medication management, wound care, chronic disease management, 24/7 care, post-operative care, health monitoring, and support during palliative or end-of-life stages. Your well-being is our top priority, and we are committed to delivering exceptional care every step of the way. Contact us today to learn more about our nursing support services and how we can assist you on your healthcare journey.

Philips Home care is a registered NDIS provider and we provide nursing support services all across Australia including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Gold Coast-Tweed Heads, Canberra-Queanbeyan, Newcastle, Central Coast, Wollongong, Sunshine Coast, Geelong, Townsville, Hobart, Cairns, Toowoomba, Darwin, and Alice Springs.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss our services further, please do not hesitate to contact our team. You can get in touch with us at – 1800 571 955 or email us at – ndis@phomecare.com.au

We are here to support you every step of the way and provide the highest standard of care.

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