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What does it feel like to have early onset Alzheimer?

Someone with early-onset Alzheimer’s may start to have difficulties with memory, planning, and problem-solving. Besides, making poor financial decisions may be concerning, too. Forgetting to pay monthly bills is one of the first warning signs that might occur. Familiar day-to-day tasks require more and more concentration. A person with early-onset Alzheimer’s may show anxiety, confusion, depression, frustration, or suspicious behavior.

Family, co-workers, and friends notice behavior changes first.

Typically, phrases like “You seem different” or “You seem very frustrated lately” serve as a good indicator.

Such behavior is a result of the individual’s frustration of not being able to understand the changes, which take place.

Table of Content
​Who gets early-onset Alzheimer's?
How is early-onset Alzheimer’s diagnosed?
Can Alzheimer's be treated if caught early?
A word from the author
List of Resources
About the Author

​Who gets early-onset Alzheimer's?

Early-onset Alzheimer’s is diagnosed in adults that are under the age of 65. Some studies show Alzheimer’s starts progression from as early as the age of 18. However, it is most commonly diagnosed in the age group 40 to 50.

Many people are living with Alzheimer’s disease. However, Younger people may get Alzheimer’s disease, but it is less common.

Estimations for the USA go as high as 200,000.


USA Estimation: 200,000 people live with early-onset Alzheimer's

If you want to know who gets Alzheimer’s, you can read about it in the “All you need to know about Alzheimer’s” guide.

How is early-onset Alzheimer’s diagnosed?

An early-onset Alzheimer’s requires a comprehensive medical evaluation. Usually, a cognitive test, as well as a neurological examination, is administered. However, health care providers are currently not focusing on early-onset Alzheimer’s. Thus, receiving a diagnosis can be a long process. Symptoms might be incorrectly attributed to stress.

What to do if you are experiencing memory problems?

Write down your symptoms, including memory loss or other cognitive difficulties.

This list of symptoms can be shared with an Alzheimer’s specialist later on.


Early-onset Alzheimer's: Write down a list of symptoms to keep track of the development

For example, difficulties performing my daily tasks at work (specifically arithmetic tasks), difficulties recalling a list of words, etc.

Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work, or at leisure: having problems with cooking, driving places, using a cell phone, or shopping.

Find a neurologist, psychologist or doctor, who specialized in Alzheimer’s disease.

Those specialists administer neurological examinations and cognitive tests with you.

Can Alzheimer's be treated if caught early?

Alzheimer’s is not curable. An early diagnosis of Alzheimer's gives chances to access treatment options and make financial plans for the future. While current medication does not prevent, cure or stop early-onset Alzheimer’s, it can help to lessen symptoms. Such symptoms include memory loss and other cognitive difficulties.

Current approaches focus on helping people maintain mental function, manage behavioral symptoms, and slow down certain problems, such as memory loss.

In my opinion, after receiving an early-onset Alzheimer’s diagnosis one should visit a therapist at least every second month.

Comorbid diseases are common with Alzheimer’s.

One comorbid disease, which is treatable, is depression.


Early-onset Alzheimer's: Comorbide diseases like depression are common with Alzheimer's

The therapist can assess depression by administering Beck’s Inventory.

In case comorbid depression is diagnosed the therapist can help with professional care.

Then, psychotherapy and antidepressants are a good way as a treatment plan (Again in my personal opinion).

A word from the author

Alzheimer’s is a disease affecting the brain. Ultimately, it has a fatal end. However, the progression of the disease starts slowly. This means one has plenty of good days left. Try not to focus on the end. Try to focus on what to do with the time that is left.

What to do if you suspect Alzheimer’s disease: Getting checked by your healthcare provider can help determine if the symptoms you are experiencing are related to Alzheimer’s disease, or a more treatable conditions such as a vitamin deficiency or a side effect from medication

Besides, every good day can be used to do something meaningful.


Every good day can be used to do something meaningful.

Doing something meaningful decreases the risk of suffering comorbid depression.

A therapist can help to find meaning.

Thus, I can only recommend going to a good therapist.

In the “All you need to know about Alzheimer’s” guide, one can learn about symptoms, progression of the disease, and what a diagnosis might mean for one’s saving account.

List of Resources

Patric Pförtner

B. Sc. Psychology

Hi, my name is Patric Pfoertner and I graduated 2020 from the NBU. Currently, I work and study in Germany. My specialisations are Cognitive Psychology paired with a good slack of Clinical Psychology. Just this year I started publishing my research in the CBB Journal. Feel free to read about it at ResearchGate. Otherwise, click the other button to read my full CV.

About Author ResearchGate

P.S.: I am available for psychological consultation, too.