Celebrity Deaths Put Focus on Early Onset Dementia

There’s more to their early deaths than sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll …

The high-profile deaths of AC/DC’s Malcolm Young (at age 64) and David Cassidy (67) are drawing much needed attention to young-onset dementia.

(Adriana Christianson, CKOM) The high-profile deaths of AC/DC founding member Malcolm Young (at age 64) and David Cassidy (67) of Partridge family fame are shining a light on young-onset dementia.

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Laura Steeves-Green with the Alzheimer’s Society runs a support group for people under 65 who live with dementia.

“Certainly there is a stigma associated with young-onset dementia and, up until recently, there’s been a real hush-hush kind of mentality about the diagnosis of young-onset dementia,” she said.

These signs may point to early-onset dementia

Steeves-Green noted many of her clients are still actively working and some even have children at home.

She said hearing about Young and Cassidy, who were in their 60s when they were diagnosed, helps people feel less alone.

“Certainly higher-profile people coming out and raising their hands and saying, ‘yes, I have dementia,’ it really does help people say, ‘hey I’m not the only one, it’s not just me,’ she said.

Steeves-Green said the diagnosis of young-onset dementia, which includes anyone under the age of 65, is becoming more prevalent as awareness grows among patients and doctors about the signs and symptoms.

According to Steeves-Green, the signs of dementia can involve personality changes and impulsive behavior, but it requires a close look at the whole picture to diagnose.

For young-onset Alzheimer’s disease, short-term memory loss affecting day-to-day abilities is a big warning sign. Read the full story at ckom.com. Also of interest: Harvard: Midlife Heart Health Reveals Dementia Risk

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