Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common form of early onset dementia.
Other forms are vascular dementia, frontal-temporal dementia, Lewy bodies dementia and Korsakoff’s syndrome , which is alcohol related dementia/
People with other conditions, such as Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, Huntington's disease or HIV and AIDS, may also develop early onset dementia as part of their illness. Also, people with Down's syndrome and other learning disabilities can develop dementia at an early age.
Genetics and early onset dementia:
Families affected by younger onset dementia may worry that it can be inherited . It is important to point out that not all cases of early onset dementia are thought to be inherited.
One rare form of dementia that can be passed from generation to generation is called Familial Alzheimer’s. This form of dementia can affect people in their 30's and 40's . Where Familial Alzheimer's is present, there is a 50% possibility of passing on the gene to the next generation who would then eventually develop the condition. Some forms of frontal-temporal dementia or Picks condition have a strong family history and in some cases a genetic link has been found. Again, these inherited types of dementia are rare.
If you have a family history of these rare types of dementia you can talk to your doctor about genetic counselling and if it is appropriate for your family. Genetic counselling is a process which will help to determine if your family history suggests genetic testing is an option to be considered.
Resources for You:
Young Dementia UK works to support people under 65 who have been diagnosed with dementia.
Alzheimer Australia have developed a range of ‘Tip Sheets’ for people with younger onset dementia.