The rare case of adolescent Alzheimer’s

It’s a disease that usually affects older people. But a 19-year-old could change this reality. The rare case of teenage Alzheimer’s was confirmed by a group of experts in Beijing. They confirmed that the disease is not exclusive to the elderly.

It is a research published in the scientific journal Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. It was conducted by scientists from the Innovation Center for Neurological Disorders of a Chinese hospital. They reported how the young man began to suffer from memory problems at the age of 17, as well as concentration difficulties in his studies.

The rare case of adolescent Alzheimer's occurred in a person from the age of 17.
Rare case of adolescent Alzheimer’s presented in a person since the age of 17.

No previous history

A year later, according to experts, the scenario was more alarming. He already had “significant recent memory loss”. This prevented him from remembering events of the previous day or where he had stored his belongings. In addition, his ability to read was impaired and his reactions became slower.

Such was the gradual deterioration of his memory that the young man could not remember whether or not he had eaten. Eventually, the teenager had to drop out of high school.

According to Jia Jianping, leader of the study, in the young man’s family there was no history of Alzheimer’s.And he had no genetic problems that could be considered the cause of his memory loss. In that sense, the scientist called for more attention to be paid to this new possibility. The disease can also manifest itself in young people.

It is believed that diagnoses of this disease would be increasing in young people.
It is believed that diagnoses of this disease would be increasing in young people.

Early diagnoses

Jia Longfei is a doctor in the department of neurology at Xuanwu Hospital and a co-author of the research. He detailed in an interview that the case is unusual not only because of the young man’s age. It is also unusual because there are no similar cases in the family history and no genetic alterations have been detected.

What does this mean? The researcher points out that more and more cases of Alzheimer’s disease are being detected at ages ranging from 20 to 40 years old. The rare case of adolescent Alzheimer’s could be the beginning of other studies that will lead to earlier testing in this population. This is the only way to design better strategies to face this battle against forgetfulness.

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