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What is early onset dementia?

Early onset dementia is a type of dementia that occurs in individuals who are under the age of 65. Dementia is a type of progressive neurological condition (PNC) that is characterised by a group of symptoms that are associated with a gradual decline in brain functioning, and can cause a whole host of problems within areas such as:

  • Memory
  • Information processing
  • Judgement
  • Emotions
  • Language
  • The ability to carry out day-to-day tasks

The risk of developing dementia increases with age, with most types of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease, being more common in individuals over the age of 65. However, some people experience the symptoms of dementia before they reach this age, and as such, may be diagnosed with early onset dementia. It is estimated that there are around 42,000 people in the UK who are currently living with early onset dementia.

What are the symptoms of early onset dementia?

Early onset dementia is associated with a range of symptoms which can become gradually worse over time, and as the condition progresses. These include:

  • Memory problems, especially short term memory loss
  • Poor judgement
  • Confusion
  • Experiencing difficulties with daily tasks
  • Speech and language problems, such as difficulty finding the right words, or following storylines
  • Erratic changes in mood, behaviour and personality
  • Apathy, and a lack of enthusiasm for hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Disorientation
  • Difficulties in recognition, understanding and comprehension
  • Struggling to adapt to change, and becoming less flexible
  • Decreased self-esteem
The impact of early onset dementia
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Treatment for early onset dementia at Priory
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For further information on Priory services offered to the NHS, or to make a referral, please call our dedicated 24/7 customer service centre on 0800 090 1356. Alternatively, click here to submit an enquiry form

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