1. What is Early Onset Alzheimer’s & What Is Dementia?
What is Alzheimer’s and what is Dementia? Some people are confused about the difference and how these two things are connected and what are the differences. The difference is Alzheimer’s is the disease! Dementia is a symptom of the disease. There are a number of diseases that have dementia as a symptom. But our focus is on Alzheimer’s. If you have lived with Alzheimer’s in your family or personally know a friend with dementia-type symptoms, you will understand how life can get confusing, scary and sad.
Early Onset Alzheimer’s symptoms define anyone diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease BEFORE the age of 65. After the age of 65, the disease is identified as full-blown Alzheimer’s.
2. Dementia Awareness
So, now that we know what the differences are between the two Early Onset Alzheimer’s vs. Full Blown Alzheimers, we can talk a little about the Alzheimer’s disease. With that in mind, a family needs to be able to identify and understand the symptoms of Symptoms of Dementia to understand the behaviors. If symptoms are identified or noticed, then the first thing to do is find a Neurologist and get tested to confirm or deny the disease. The following 3 things can be used to help determine if you or a loved one should see a Neurologist. A Neurologist would then run tests (both physically and mentally) to identify if you or a family member has the components/ characteristics) that identify of Alzheimer’s. The physician will perform the following:
- Examine the Family history to determine if anyone in the family has had Alzheimer’s.
- Order physical brain scans and medical tests to determine if either of the two physical components of Alzheimer’s (amaloyd plaque & tau tangles) are displayed in the brain. Finally observing or reviewing odd behaviors will also help diagnose a loved one. The sooner the better as there are current medications on the market that are provided to slow down the progression of the disease.
Clinical Trial Testing for Alzheimer’s
There are many clinical trials testing various drugs to help find a cure for those affected with Alzheimer’s. A clinical trial may be a pharmaceutical company or medical organization that tests various medications to help find a cure for Alzheimer’s all over the United States. *Note: Clinical trials are run for all medications for various diseases all over the world.) In the United States, the FDA (Federal Drug Administration) approves or disapproves newly tested medications for any type of disease or illness.
Once a loved one is diagnosed with a disease like Alzheimer’s, there are many clinical testing facilities available to those who would like to participate. Clinical Trial testing helps define if a drug is successful or not, determine side effects, identifies strengths, or weaknesses, and acknowledge if the drug is helpful in some way. Our loved ones and families can participate in these types of testing. This way, getting a loved one into a clinical trial may help them based on the drug and it’s purpose.
1) There should be an awareness of Alzheimer’s in your family history.
2) Being able to identify symptoms of Dementia will also help diagnose a loved one…the sooner the better as there are current medication that is known to slow down the progression of the disease.
3) There are many clinical trials are in progress testing and trying to find a cure for Alzheimer’s. That’s why the drugs are tested.
If you don’t know where to go or to find a clinical trial for Alzheimer’s or Early Onset Alzheimer’s, you can 1) ask your regular doctor or a specialist like a Neurologist. Additionally, you can go to this website __________________ to find the the nearest clinical trial near you for Alzheimer’s. Note: If not in your state, or near your home, it is quite informal for people to travel to get involved in clinical trials that may help them.
For those who started early with this disease, the symptoms can cause confusion and fear as they struggle daily with regular life stuff. Early forgetfulness and misunderstanding as to what is happening to them, as well as the distress and fear as they go through this first stage can be confusing.
Therefore, it is important to know the signs and symptoms of Early Onset Alzheimer’s (EOA) and the signs of dementia, especially acknowledging early symptoms before the age 65. Most people don’t know there is anything such as Early Onset Alzheimer’s (EOA). People will find life very frustrating when EOA begins as they will not ‘something is happening to them as short-term memory and forgetfulness become a problem.
3. Where To Start: See A Neurologist
It is imperative that you or the person you think is having a problem with memory and forgetfulness START WITH a certified Neurologist. Many people, as I did, will visit multiple doctors prior to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis as they try to decipher what is happening to them in their everyday life. There may be confusion, forgetfulness, misunderstanding, etc. In continuing and thinking of other possible reasons for their daily forgetfulness we visit too many doctors who may prescribe various drugs for other conditions. If that happens, we are running from doctor to doctor as the various symptoms continue. The true specialist for Alzheimer’s is the Neurologist.
I’m 65 years old. In my mind, I’m in my 50’s. In my early 50’s, I started to notice some ‘ever so light’ issues with my memory. But it was very minor and I didn’t always recognize it. Didn’t think it was anything special but it did have its effects. Years ago, when I felt that something was wrong, I went from physician to physician before I was officially diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s. Finally, after finally going to a neurologist, it was determined that I had Early Onset Alzheimers (Alzheimer’s over the age of 65). It took approximately 3-4 years to find out I had Early Onset Alz. (I was under the age of 65). Click on the link “My Journey To Diagnosis” to read and feel some of the experiences of the journey and understand why I felt something was wrong. My Journey to Diagnosis tells who and what physicians to go to if you think for a minute that you have Alzheimer’s. There is a method of this madness in the sense of following some type of order to find out if you have Early Onset Alzheimer’s or some other type of condition with dementia.
3.1. Neruologist Identification of
As I questioned my memory in my mid to lat 50’s, I never suspected that I had Early Onset Alzheimer’s, but I knew ‘something’ was not right After seeing multiple types of doctors over a period of years, I finally went to the Neurologist who reviewed, identified and treated brain conditions. The Neurologist:
- Identifies, confirms the disease or denies the diagnosis. Identifies other conditions/diseases of the Brain if you don’t have Alzheimer’s.
- If applicable, a Neurologist will provide the current necessary medications known to slow down Alzheimer’s disease or guide you to the right physician.
- Supply information to the family about each phase of Alzheimer’s to be well aware of what is to be expected.
- Educate family and friends to provide support and assistance on the expected progression of Alzheimer’s.
- Find a Neurologist to give possible family assistance.
- Educate other family members of symptoms, behaviors, or organizations that can assist, and explain the Good, the Bad, and the Possible Dangers that someone who has Alzheimer’s can get into.
4. Education & Assistance
Informing friends and family of Alzheimer’s and necessary contacts keeps everyone aware of references to new and current medications, clinical trials, nursing homes, and/or care assistance. It is necessary to keep the family educated about this condition called Early Onset Alzheimer’s, as well as full-blown Alzheimer’s. It is important to understand what will happen both mentally and physically, in the future. It can be incredibly emotional as the person diagnosed becomes yhe family member that does not know or understand. Getting Education and Assistance will also help the family know when the family patient may need a different type of care. All of the above information must be worked out so an Alzheimer’s Family can get the necessary medical, emotional, and family assistance for everyone.
5. Local Help & Assistance
Lastly, if you have someone in your family that has Early Onset Alzheimer’s, make sure you reach out to your local Alzheimer’s Organization first to get information and assistance in terms of what the disease is and various other things to know about this condition. (I don’t like the word disease). 🙂 Alzheimer’s Organizations are in every state and can provide important information and assistance for the one who has Alzheimer’s and the caregivers, as well. You can locate these state organizations by clicking on the following link: United States Alzheimer’s Organizations to identify your state organization. Click on the following link and you’ll get immediate assistance, particularly answering your questions.
If you need to find your State Alzheimer’s organization, click on the National Institute National Alzheimer’s (NIA) Organization. The website provides the organizations called the National Institutes of Aging. which specialize in Alzheimer’s. These organizations are all over the U.S., and provide local State Alzheimer’s organizations, recommend Medical Assistance, Clinical Trial Information, recommend Care Givinrs, etc. at //www.nia.nih.gov/health/what-alzheimers-disease.
NIH organizations have a wealth of information concerning Alzheimer’s and dementia, locations from state to state, upcoming new information on various medical solutions and other information as stated in the paragraph above. I hope you find this helpful. If you have any questions, please leave a message below in the comments section and someone will get back in touch with you.
Be blessed. Be well. State Positive in Life.