Psychiatrist Blog

The Surprising Truth About Dementia 

The Surprising Truth About Dementia

As we age, the fear of developing dementia becomes more prevalent. We see our loved ones struggle with memory loss and cognitive decline, and it’s natural to wonder if we will suffer the same fate. But what many people don’t realize is that dementia is not just a disease of old age. It can strike at any time, even in young adults.

Yes, you read that right. Dementia is not just a disease that affects the elderly. In fact, there are over 47 million people worldwide living with dementia, and a significant portion of them are under the age of 65. This means that even in your 30s, 40s, or 50s, you could be at risk for developing dementia.

But why is this important? Why should we be talking about dementia in younger adults? The truth is, the earlier we address this issue, the better chance we have of preventing or delaying its onset. And that’s why it’s crucial to understand the risk factors and warning signs of dementia at a young age.

So, what are the risk factors for dementia? The most obvious risk factor of developing dementia is age, but as we now know dementia can begin affecting people as early as age 30. Other risk factors include sex and gender (females are at a higher risk for Alzheimer’s Dementia whereas men are at higher risk for Lewy Body Dementia), race (higher risk in Latino and African American adults), vitamin deficiencies(Vitamin D), family history, and vascular issues(high blood pressure, smoking, heart disease, and diabetes).  It is helpful to be aware of all of the risk factors there are in developing dementia, so that appropriate screening can begin at the right time.

Another reason why we need to talk about dementia in younger adults is that early detection is key. Many people don’t realize they have dementia until it has progressed to a severe stage. But if we start paying attention to the warning signs and seek medical help early on, we can slow down the progression of the disease and improve our quality of life.

Some of the warning signs of dementia at a young age include subtle memory changes, difficulty finding the right words, difficulty completing tasks, changes to mood, and struggling with change. If you or a loved one are experiencing these symptoms, it’s essential to consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

It’s also crucial to understand that dementia is not a normal part of aging. It’s a disease that requires medical attention and should not be ignored or dismissed as “just getting older.” By raising awareness and educating ourselves and others, we can break the stigma surrounding dementia and encourage more people to seek help.

So, can you get dementia at a young age? The answer is yes. Dementia, a global health issue, can affect anyone, including young adults. Preventing its onset can be achieved through a healthy lifestyle, regular exercise, a balanced diet, and mental and social activity. Prioritizing mental health and seeking help if cognitive abilities change is crucial. 


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