Early Onset Alzheimer’s Affects 200,000 Americans

By Chanley Rose

Alzheimer’s disease is generally associated with the elderly, but approximately 200,000 Americans are currently affected by early-onset Alzheimer’s.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, these patients are under the age of 65, with the majority being in their 40s and 50s.

Early-onset Alzheimer’s made headlines recently when University of Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt announced she had the disease. She is 59.

The Alzheimer’s Assn.encourages people to be aware of the warning signs. Common symptoms include trouble remembering recent information, relying on others to handle responsibilities,trouble remembering and following directions, and difficulties concentrating.

Additionally, working with numbers and following a budget can become more difficult. People with Alzheimer’s can lose track of time and find it hard to keep up with conversations. Also, their moods and personalities can change.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, only treatment for symptoms such as memory loss, behavioral changes and sleeping problems.

With research and scientific advances, hopes are high that more loved ones and precious memories can be preserved, and Alzheimer’s can be the one forgotten.