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My mother is only 64 years old and already showing signs of dementia/Alzheimer's. She hasn't been officially diagnosed as we are still in the process of getting her in with a Neurologist. She experiences hallucinations, very depressed (cries constantly), increased short term memory loss such as not recognizing her home (she's lived there 14yrs but constantly says she wants to go "home"), unable to cook for herself( doesn't remember how) and lately has been urinating in random places (can't remember where the toilet is). She's also experiencing aphasia. Her cognitive skills seems to be declining rapidly. She is the youngest of 13 children and 3 of her siblings who are much older have already been diagnosed (they live out of the country). Forgive my ignorance but I was under the impression dementia/Alzheimer's affects people who are much older. Could it be something else? Her doctor has checked her blood/urine and everything comes back normal.

Alzheimer's Disease, as well as other degenerative brain disorders, certainly can affect younger age groups. In people under 65, this is termed "early onset."

Your mother's GP might want to think about ordering a brain scan perhaps. If that too reveals nothing of significance, or possibly even if it does, it could be that counselling would help your mother and the family find a way forward through a potentially frightening landscape.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Sadly your story reminded me of the film Still Alice. Did you see it? 😓

"real-life story about how Alice Howland, a linguistics professor at Columbia, and her family deal with her diagnosis of familial Alzheimer's disease at age 50, is both heartfelt and powerful".
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Reply to Beatty
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Imho, individuals who are in their sixties can develop early onset Alzheimer's. My late sister in law was diagnosed at about the age of 62. Since three of your mother's siblings have the disease, I wonder if her parents passed on a hereditary factor, which could be very telling?
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Reply to Llamalover47
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Just watched this video. It’s Teepa Snow interviewing the mom of a woman who was diagnosed at 28.

https://youtu.be/Nk68CVu4xYU
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Reply to cxmoody
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My mother wasn't diagnosed until she was 51. Had symptoms of Alzheimers at 48 (but we didn't know that then). She died of Alzheimers at age 54. That was in 1984. Sorry to hear that you're going through this, but it can happen a lot earlier than most people think.
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Reply to kabromaitis
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So sorry you and your Mom are going through this possibility of dementia/Alzheimer's at a relatively young age of 68. I have worked in LTC including dementia and there is such a dx as early onset dementia. My friend's husband was diagnosed at age 60. The youngest person I have heard dx'd officially was in Great Britain at age 40 so yes... it can happen. Glad that you have taken Mom to her regular doctor for her checkup and blood work. You may want to consult a neurologist and/or a geriatric psychiatrist also as they specialize in problems of the brain.

Regardless of the dx, please investigate to see if someone in the family has her very important paper work (will, medical proxy and advanced directive). If the dx is dementia it may be too late to get these papers done so you may need to consult with a certified eldercare attorney on what to do next. You may want to pick up the paperback "The 36 hour day" to give you a glimpse of what living with a dementia person is like. Get the family together and plan what type of care your Mom will need going forward, where it will be and how it will be paid.

Wishing you and your family peace on this difficult journey.
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Reply to geddyupgo
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My husband is now 69, he was diagnosed with Alzheimers at 64 and probably had it for a few years prior. He started exhibiting the symptoms you mention your mother has in the later stages, ages 67 up. We had a neurologist in the beginning who put him on alz. drugs, no way of telling if they worked or not. He is now under hospice care and off all drugs except for comfort and mood. We had no success at all with our doctors - I hope you have the time and selection options to really find a good one because that is so important.
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Reply to JeanneMB
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Short answer is yes.

Alzheimer's disease can strike at earlier ages. Your mom needs her neurologist to determine the type of dementia and stage. This will help to guide everybody's expectations and her care needs.

In addition, it may be helpful to have your mom get a full physical examination by an internist. This doctor can uncover other physical issues that might be contributing to the cognitive changes. Once these medical issues are addressed, your mom may have better mentation.
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Reply to Taarna
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My wife who is now 62 was diagnosed with Advanced Vascular Dementia at age 61. Her troubles have been going on for several years more noticeable after her stroke in 2017. So I began to notice it when she was 54/55 YO.

She has had a total of 5 strokes, 4 of which were caused by endocarditis, with "vegetation breaking away from the heart valve infection and lodging in the brain. (Same place each time, just affecting a larger section of brain each time.

She has been on Coumadin since 1980 at the age of 20.

20 years ago, she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes which she think insulin use is so that she can eat more carbs.

Research shows Vascular dementia most commonly occurs in people between the ages of 60 and 75.
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Reply to garylee
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Mjlarkan Jul 7, 2021
Gary, why did you mention Coumadin? Has her doctor associated that with her Alzheimer’s?
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I am guessing it can happen at any age. I had a schoolmate that passed away about 10 years ago and I am 64 now.......however I sometimes wonder if it has anything to do with where people live. My classmate lived near Three Mile Island when it shut down by accident. Did that cause hers? don't know. But I am guessing anything can happen at any age, children get cancer........why? we don't know. Have they done a brain scan on your mother? is she on some kind of medication that is causing this? (a friends husband had PKD, had a transplant and the meds he is on makes him forgetful)...........so it could be anything. wishing you luck.
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Reply to wolflover451
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Echoing what others have said, sadly, yes, it can be diagnosed earlier than expected. A colleague's husband was diagnosed with frontotemporal lobe dementia at 50, although he showed signs earlier. My mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in her late 80's. To cope with the same decline that you noticed: hallucinations, lower cognitive skills, etc., I wrote a book about my husband and I taking care of her called, "My Mother Has Alzheimer's and My Dog has Tapeworms: A Caregiver's Tale." (I thought of the title when I was driving home from work 1 day, and I realized that my once broad life was reduced to the pressing health concerns of my mom and dog.) I wrote it with humor and heart, because you need both when dealing with Alzheimer's. Since I'm not a doctor though, I'd get her to a neurologist and/or geriatric psychiatrist as soon as you can, to get an official diagnosis. Best of luck.
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Reply to rlynn123
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Look up early onset dementia. They go downhill within a matter of a couple years as opposed to 10 to 20 years. You need to stay a step ahead for her safety. If this is her diagnosis, ask her doctor if he rrcommends genetic testing for siblings or children. There may be a strong genetic component
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Reply to MACinCT
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Yes, sadly it can start at a fairly young age. It's called early onset. One of the gentlemen in our local support group's wife was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's at the age of 54, and she's been living with it for 18 years already.(she's now in the very late stages)
I'm glad you're having mom see a neurologist. Make sure that you and your family members are educating yourselves as well on Alzheimer's/dementia, as that will help you better understand what your mom is going through. Teepa Snow has some great videos on YouTube you can watch that are very helpful, and the book The 36 Hour Day by Nancy L. Mace and Peter V. Rabins is a great resource as well.
I wish you all the very best.
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Reply to funkygrandma59
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Early onset is possible. I was at a seminar held at a MC facility and someone asked what is the age of the youngest resident. The answer was 35 years old!
My Husband was diagnosed at 62 and he had showed signs for quite a few years prior to that. Often people will hide signs and work around the dementia, and friends and family ignore, forgive little slip ups for sometimes up to 10 years before an official diagnosis.
To be diagnosed in the 60’s is not really “early on set”.
Testing, awareness is allowing people to be diagnosed earlier than in years past. One of the reasons might be because of drugs that might or might not work. So there is money to be made with an early diagnosis. (Sounds like my cynical side woke up early this morning!)
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Reply to Grandma1954
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MJ1929 Jul 7, 2021
Not all residents of MC have Alzheimer's or dementia, per se. My mom's place had a 47-year-old man who was in there because he had a parasite in his brain. It was heartbreaking -- he had two little kids, too. ☹
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It a possible that she may have a UTI which can cause dementia symptoms. Get her to the doc. There are other illnesses that can cause this too.
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Reply to gladimhere
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Yes, it is indeed possible for early-onset dementia and/or Alzheimer's disease. My husband's aunt started displaying symptoms in her mid-60's, also with a rapid decline.

Here's a good article: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alzheimers-disease/in-depth/alzheimers/art-20048356
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Reply to PeeWee57
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I'm so sorry for this distressing discovery. I just went through this with a dear cousin who is only 68. We are still in shock. Just make sure her doctors discount any other possible cause of those symptoms: thyroid, undiagnosed Lyme's, tumor, etc. Your mother may benefit from Arisept, which can help (but not always) and should be started early as possible. This is not a cure and will only work for a while, and maybe not at all, but it's better than nothing.

This week I watched an episode of a series on PBS about aging and Dementia/ALZ specifically. They highlighted a man who had the symptoms at 58, which means he had it for years prior (once you can really see the symptoms it means they've had it longer than you think).

There is a helpful book that many on this site will endorse, "The 36-hour Day". Also, Teepa Snow has very informative videos on YouTube about dementia/ALZ, what it is, why is causes our LOs to behave as they do, what to expect and how to better engage with those experiencing it.

If your mom has a spouse/partner this person now needs to consult with a professional about finances, since care is very expensive and it will most likely be years of care, even if family participates a lot. Hopefully your mom has a PoA in place and if not, a consult with an elder law attorney would be an excellent investment. May your family receive peace in hearts as you go on this journey with your mother.
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Reply to Geaton777
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