Early Alzheimer’s or “presenile dementia”, is a rare type of Alzheimer’s that starts before 65 years of age, usually between 40 and 50 years, and is related to hereditary genetic alterations that lead to a progressive loss of cognition, producing symptoms such as lack of memory loss, mental confusion, aggression and difficulty in carrying out daily activities.
These genetic alterations lead to the accumulation of “tau” and beta-amyloid proteins in the brain, specifically in the part responsible for speech and memory, producing the development of Alzheimer’s symptoms. Know more about the main symptoms.
When the first symptoms appear, they are often confused with excess stress and depression, which is why the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s ends up being late. The ideal is to consult a neurologist whenever symptoms arise and there is a family history of the illness, being the early diagnosis important to start the treatment and delay the aggravation of Alzheimer’s.
Symptoms of early Alzheimer’s generally develop faster than those of Alzheimer’s in advanced ages, causing a rapid loss of cognition.
The main symptoms of early Alzheimer’s are:
- View changesas it is difficult to focus on a complete image;
- difficulty of perception and depth;
- Difficulty recognizing faces and people;
- Decreased communication capacity verbal or written;
- Difficulty to learn new tasks;
- Forget the events of daily lifeas if ate or no;
- Falls in frequent memoryhow to leave home and forget about the path from where iba;
- mental confusionas in the knowledge of where to find what is to be done in that place;
- Storing objects in inappropriate placesas the telephone in the refrigerator;
- Remain silent for long periods of time a la mitad of a conversation;
- Insomnia, difficulty sleeping the nocturnal awakenings;
- Difficulty to make sencilla accountslike 3 x 4, logical thinking;
- loss of movementas it is difficult to get up on the ground;
- anguish and depressionas sadness that no pasa y ganas de aislarse;
- hypersexualitybeing able to have masturbation in public or inappropriate conversations;
- Irritability in excess for not remembering certain things or not understanding a certain situation;
- aggressivenesssuch as hitting family and friends, saying things against the wall or the soil;
- Apathyas if nothing had mattered.
In the case of early Alzheimer’s, the symptoms of the illness present themselves much faster than in the people of the third age, and the inability to take care of oneself appears earlier.
It is important to consult a neurologist when there are symptoms suggestive of early Alzheimer’s, so that the diagnosis is made and the appropriate treatment begins. This consultation is also more important for people with a family history of Alzheimer’s, as they present a greater risk of developing early Alzheimer’s.
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At what age does early Alzheimer’s appear?
Normally, early Alzheimer’s appears between 40 and 50 years, however, there is no exact age, as there are cases in which it appears both at 27 and 51 years. The most important thing is that people with a family history of Alzheimer’s pay attention to the appearance of symptoms.
How the diagnosis is confirmed
The diagnosis of early Alzheimer’s is performed by a neurologist through the evaluation of symptoms and family history of Alzheimer’s, memory and cognition tests, and imaging tests, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computerized tomography (CT) of the brain .
In addition, the doctor may request clinical examinations to rule out other diseases that cause memory changes, such as hypothyroidism, depression, vitamin B12 deficiency, hepatitis or HIV, for example.
The cause of early Alzheimer’s is not fully known, but it is believed that it is due to mutations in the APP, PSEN1 and PSEN2 genes, which lead to the emergence of proteins in the brain, such as beta-amyloid and the Tau protein. This accumulation of proteins seems to cause inflammation, disorganization and destruction of neuronal cells, mainly in the areas responsible for memory and interpretation of information.
These genetic alterations are hereditary, which means that early Alzheimer’s is more common in people of the same family, and that the mutations can pass from parents to children.
How is the treatment performed?
Early Alzheimer’s treatment should be guided by a neurologist to help reduce symptoms and delay the evaluation of the illness. In this way, the doctor can prescribe different medications such as donepezil, rivastigmine, galantamine or memantine, which help to maintain cognitive functions. See the drug options for Alzheimer’s.
In addition, the doctor can also recommend the use of medication to improve the heat of the person and the mood, such as psychotherapy, regular physical activity and a balanced diet, including antioxidant foods.
Early Alzheimer’s treatment must be accompanied by a multidisciplinary team, with doctors, physiotherapist, speech therapist, nutritionist and occupational therapist, so that the emergence of other symptoms can be delayed and complications can be avoided, as well as improving the quality of life of the person.
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