Published 11:30 am Sunday, January 23, 2022

Many people think of Alzheimer’s disease as something that happens only to older people.   Unfortunately, that’s not the truth.

Younger Onset Alzheimer’s affects people under the age of 65.   Many of these people are in their 40’s and 50’s.  Younger Onset can manifest itself in any of the three stages of Alzheimer’s disease: early, middle or late.

Most people living with Younger Onset have what’s called sporadic Alzheimer’s, the most common form of the disease.

The reason why most cases of Younger Onset appear at a relatively young age are not well understood.  Likewise, getting an accurate diagnosis can be very frustrating.  The disease affects individuals differently and symptoms can vary from person to person. Doctors and other health care providers generally don’t search for Alzheimer’s in younger people. If there are symptoms they may be misdiagnosed as stress. Different professionals may come to conflicting diagnoses.

It’s important to note that the disease is not a one size fits all.

If you are experiencing memory problems you should get a comprehensive medical evaluation with a physician specializing in Alzheimer’s. A thorough medical exam and possibly cognitive tests may be required, as well as a neurological exam and/or brain imaging.  Your local Alzheimer’s Association can provide you with a referral.  Be sure and keep an accurate log of any cognitive difficulties or symptoms of memory loss you can show your provider.

Finally, there is no single one test that will confirm the presence of Alzheimer’s disease. Only a full and comprehensive medical evaluation can lead to a diagnosis.

The sooner you have an accurate diagnosis, the sooner you can begin planning what you can do to ease the impact on you and your family throughout the course of the disease.  Call our 24/7 Helpline anytime: 1.800.272.3900.

Meanwhile, you can always get the latest information about the Association’s COVID-19 guidelines for Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers in long-term or community-based care settings here:


The Alzheimer’s Association leads the way to end Alzheimer’s and all other dementia – by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s and all other dementia. Visit or call 800.272.3900.


Scott Finley is Media Relations Manager for the Alzheimer’s Association® in Texas.  He can be reached at