Types of Dementia in Youngsters

Types of Dementia in Youngsters

a person is confused

You’ve been in such a situation where you forget where you placed items, forget the date or certain occasions, or have difficulty deciding on a single thing. In the long term, if a person experiences these symptoms, they could end up with dementia. Dementia is an umbrella term presenting a decline in cognitive abilities severe enough to interfere with daily living. It is not an illness, but rather a condition that causes loss of mental and cognitive skills, making a person unable to make judgements. Youngsters could be wondering how it can be dementia, as dementia is more commonly found in older people, with the risk increasing beyond the age of 65.’

Young-onset Dementia

Dementia is uncommon, but can also be found in youngsters. Dementia at a younger age is also known as Young- onset Dementia (YOD) and it is defined as dementia that occurs before 65. Approx. 5% of the people have the condition of young onset dementia. Memory loss, trouble finding words when speaking, difficulty making judgements, unexpected changes in attitude and conduct, and loss of enjoyment are all symptoms of YOD. These are the most typical symptoms of a person suffering from early-onset dementia. Although there is no cure for young-onset dementia, there are several treatments available, such as therapy, medication, and changes in lifestyles. Living with YOD is difficult for the sufferer as well as family members and friends. However, there are several options available to assist in coping with YOD, this includes support groups, educational programmes, and financial assistance.

What can be the CAUSE?

  • Genetics factor: Some people might be born with the genes carrying dementia. When the genes of both mother and father get mixed some mutation (changes in the structure of genes) occurs and this mutation can cause an increase in the risk of developing YOD.
  • Brain Injuries: If someone gets into an accident or hits their head with major injuries, it might cause them some symptoms of dementia and in the long run there are high chance that they will develop dementia in their young life.
  • Infection: Infections such as HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) or AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) can cause a high percentage that one will have dementia, as it increases the risk at a very young age.
  • Substance abuse: If a person has an addiction to substances like drugs and alcohol might have a high chance of Dementia at a young age.

Types of Young- onset dementia

Alzheimer’s Disease:

Alzheimer’s disease is commonly found in older people, but it is one of the leading causes of dementia in youngsters. This disease progressively and gradually impacts the brain’s cell function, with time plagues and some tangles are formed in the brain cell and this damages the brain resulting in loss of memory, thinking problems and other symptoms.

Frontotemporal Dementia:

Frontotemporal dementia is caused by an abnormal deposit of proteins in the parts of the brain, specifically the front and temporal parts of the brain. The reason for this is unknown. This is a less common type of dementia found in people, but mostly starts with the age of 45 to 65. But also found in younger people. This causes a random change in behaviour patterns and language.

Vascular Dementia:

It is a cognitive impairment caused by a blockage in the blood vessels of the brain, which causes blocks blood to flow in different parts of brain. Vascular dementia can occur in younger adults if they have experienced strokes, problems with blood vessels, and any other vascular issues. Common symptoms of vascular dementia include repeating words, a disorganised way of living, change in language and attention and feelings of depression and sadness.

Parkinson’s disease with dementia:

In this disease, there is a loss of dopamine producing cells in the body which causes a low level of dopamine. If a person is having Parkinson’s disease with dementia they may show tremors, rigidity and slow movements. This disease can cause cognitive decline but it is less severe than other types of dementia.

Huntington’s disease:

This disease typically begins at the age of 30 to 50 and around five to ten cases are diagnosed during adolescence. In this progressive amount of loss in brain cells is found. It is characterised by slow body movement, drastic personality changes and cognitive impairment.

Lewy body disease:

It is a spectrum disease and can be found with Parkinson’s disease with dementia. This is caused by some Lewy bodies in the brain. Lewy body means an abnormal protein deposit in the brain that can cause memory loss, thinking problems and body movement. It is most commonly found in older adults, but also can be the leading cause of dementia in younger people.

Alcohol-related Dementia:

Excessive consumption of alcohol can cause shrinkage in the brain permanently. And overly having alcohol can cause a high chance for one to develop alcohol-related dementia. This may have symptoms of feelings of loneliness, gap in memory, loss of learning ability, vision loss and difficulty in making life decisions.

Coping strategies

One can commonly have dementia at a young age, but there are some coping strategies which can help:

  • Maintaining a healthy lifestyle: This includes eating healthy food, following the diet, working to make your body fit, getting enough sleep, and living a stress-free life. If an individual is able to balance their life in this way, then this strategy can really be helpful.
  • Stay mentally active: If a person is mentally active then the progression of dementia will be slow, so indulge yourself in those activities that help your mind to stay active, these include reading, solving puzzles, reasoning, and learning new skills.
  • Socially interactive: Being socially interactive helps to reduce the feeling of loneliness and isolation. Isolation is one of the most common symptoms of dementia. Social interaction helps to overcome the feeling of loneliness.
  • Join a support group: Support groups are helpful in providing care to patients dealing with dementia with a safe space to share experiences and connect with others.

Living with YOD can be a challenge, but there are a number of resources available to help people cope. By following these coping strategies, people with YOD can live meaningful and fulfilling lives.

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