Age Matters Clinic


Toronto Geriatric Assessment and Memory Clinic

The Rise of Younger Onset Dementia

Here is a troubling fact: younger onset dementia is on the rise. Typically, dementia and memory loss are commonly thought to affect only the elderly. Unfortunately, this perception is no longer accurate. Younger onset dementia is becoming more widespread than ever before. Though the statistics are hard to believe, it currently affects 1 in every 1000 people. In the United States alone, this disease is estimated to affect more than 200, 000 people.

Due to the rising statistics, it is crucial to understand exactly what younger onset dementia is. This disease is defined as dementia symptoms that occur in people before the age of 65. Those affected by this can have a range of brain disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson's disease, Multiple Sclerosis, or brain infections.

The most upsetting aspect of younger onset dementia is that it can affect younger men and women who still have demanding careers, family lives, and other obligations. The symptoms of this disease can drastically impact their every day lives and responsibilities, as well as their futures. Early onset dementia can develop in men and women who are in their 30s, 40s and 50s. While it is more commonly discovered in people who are in their 40s and 50s, younger diagnoses still occur.

One of the challenges people with younger onset dementia face, however, is diagnosis. As dementia is not common in younger people, diagnosis can be difficult. Doctors may not immediately think to look into dementia for diagnosis. In fact, the most common first diagnosis is related to stress. A proper diagnosis for early onset dementia can be a lengthy process. Another reason that younger onset dementia is even more difficult to diagnose, is the fact that the symptoms tend to vary from person to person. Though younger onset dementia currently affects many men and women around the world, proper diagnosis is still lacking.

Doctors still do not know why most cases of younger onset dementia occur. This is why research into the disease is on the rise. UNSW Medicine researchers in Australian are currently looking to further their information about the disease and how many people it affects within the country. Early findings into their research suggest that as many as 1 in 750 Australian people could be affected by early onset dementia, far more than the average statistic of 1 in 1000. With these startling statistics coming out of Australia and from the rest of the globe, it is clear that younger onset dementia is a growing issue. Further research and raised awareness should help patients to better live with this disease.

Younger onset dementia has become a growing concern for the general public. This disease is gaining public attention due to more and more confirmed cases over the last several years. With more confirmed cases of younger onset dementia, new issues are being raised. Since many of the memory loss and Alzheimer's clinics that exist are geared toward seniors, they do not cater to those suffering with early onset dementia. It is crucial that more information and help become available for patients suffering from memory loss diseases at any age.

At the Age Matters Clinic, we are happy to help answer any of your questions about memory loss, degenerative diseases, as well as younger onset dementia. We deal not only with geriatric patients, but also younger adults. If you believe that you are at risk or are currently experiencing symptoms of younger onset dementia, do not hesitate to contact us - we are here to help you make the most of every single day.