About Early-Onset Alzheimer's Disease

What is early-onset Alzheimer’s disease?

Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease (also known as young-onset Alzheimer’s disease/early-onset neurocognitive disorder) is a term for a form of Alzheimer’s disease that occurs in people under the age of 65. Although a number of “EOAD” patients present with progressive memory loss, there is also a high percentage of early-onset AD variants (vEOAD) that present with difficulties in language, visuospatial abilities, or other cognitive issues.

What are possible symptoms?

  • Disruptive memory loss throughout daily life/activities
  • Difficulty in performing familiar tasks
  • Difficulty in planning and/or problem solving
  • Confusion with dates, times, or places
  • Trouble with location relations (spatial relation difficulties)
  • Word problems (speaking and/or writing)
  • Trouble with decision making (issues with judgment; relying on others to make decisions)
  • Social withdrawal (including work and social situations)
  • Difficulty initiating activities)
  • Changes in mood and personality)

What do I do if my loved one exhibits some of the above symptoms?

  1. Visit a neurologist for an evaluation and share your observations.
  2. He or she will probably recommend:
    • Blood tests to rule out other causes of cognitive changes
    • Brain imaging
      An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan will look for changes in the size or structure of different parts of the brain
      A PET (positron-emission tomography) scan will look for changes in the activity of different parts of the brain.
  3. Once these evaluations are completed, you may request a referral from this neurologist to the UCLA & Neurobehavior Clinic.
  4. Records of blood tests, neurological evaluation, and brain imaging must be sent to the Nurse Practioner and Clinic Coordinator, Jill Shapira.
  5. The records will be reviewed and you will be contacted for more information, if necessary.
  6. If the records and referral are appropriate for our program, the Clinic Coordinator will contact you to schedule an initial evaluation.

Where can I learn more about EAOD?

The Alzheimer’s Association