Although memory loss is often thought the first sign of Alzheimer’s, for many that isn’t the case.
In fact, difficulties with problem-solving or language can mark the disease’s onset in the under-60s, a new study finds.
The conclusion comes from an analysis of almost 8,000 Alzheimer’s patients.
One in four were mainly complaining of problems unrelated to memory, the study found.
Dr Josephine Barnes, the study’s lead author, told Reuters:
“Non-memory first cognitive symptoms were more common in younger Alzheimer’s disease patients.
Tests which explore and investigate these non-memory cognitive problems should be used so that non-memory deficits are not overlooked.”
The research found that the younger people were when first diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, the more likely they were to have non-memory problems.
Also, the younger people were, the more likely that depression was a symptom.
The study, conducted at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London, was published in the journal Alzheimer’s and Dementia (Barnes et al., 2015)
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
Alzheimer’s photo from Shutterstock