About Early Onset Alzheimer’s

Early onset Alzheimer’s disease is defined as Alzheimer’s disease being diagnosed prior to the age of 65.  However, symptoms can begin affecting individuals in their 30s, 40s, and 50s.  It is estimated that as many as 10% of those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease have early onset Alzheimer’s, which could be in excess of 500,000 individuals in the United States.  Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, which is a general term for memory loss and the decline of intellectual abilities that are serious enough to interfere with daily life.   Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease of cognitive and physical abilities.

Individuals with early onset Alzheimer’s disease have very different experiences due to their young age.  These individuals are often still in the workforce and may still be raising their children.  As a result, there is added stress when diagnosed with the disease and the diagnosis impacts the entire family structure.  Challenges can include obtaining a diagnosis, loss of income, leaving the workforce, social isolation, and changing roles in relationships and the family structure.

Read: Stages of Early Onset Alzheimer (PDF document)