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What are Young-Onset Dementias?

According to current definitions, young-onset dementias are dementias that develop before the age of 65.  Indeed, many of these dementias typically begin before the age of 60. The commonest causes of young-onset dementias are Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal dementias, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, vascular dementias (which result from different types of strokes) and a wide variety of inherited, metabolic, and genetic conditions that can produce dementia.

The young-onset dementias present a number of challenges. These challenges include delayed or ambiguous diagnosis, rapid progression in some forms, threats to family income, issues pertaining to dependent children and to parenting, lack of age-appropriate respite-care services and a long-life expectancy for spouses who survive the sufferer.

Our clinical services for young-onset dementias are designed to directly address these problems by providing a comprehensive clinical care program that integrates traditional dementia care with an array of support and social work services. These services include:

  • Clarification of diagnosis
  • Treatment of symptoms associated with dementia
  • Dementia-care education
  • Support groups (in partnership with the local Alzheimer's Association and several national support groups).
  • Social work services
  • Practical assistance in the management of employment and retirement, and in completing disability applications
  • Guidance in the planning of long-term care and in the long-term management of social and financial resources
  • Clinic liaison with respite and residential programs
  • Guidance with issues pertaining to dependent children
  • Home visits (in certain circumstances)

Refer a patient to or to make an appointment in the Frontotemporal and Young-Onset Dementia Clinic.

Learn more about ongoing JHU research on Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease?


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Dr. Onyike

Frontotemporal Dementia:
It's Not Alzheimer's



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