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"At what age can dementia strike?"


My mother is 67 and I fear she has dementia. Is it possible to get it at such a young age? Could something have triggered it?


Dementia is a catch-all diagnosis of decreased ability to reason and interact secondary to mental compromise. There are many causes, and the treatment varies depending on what specifically is involved. There is, unfortunately, no treatment for many types of dementia.

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While 67 is somewhat young for a person to develop dementia, it is not unheard of. If your mother has a family history of siblings or parents with dementia, that would increase her personal risk of developing the disease as well. If learning new information, remembering things, difficulty finding words, and difficulty reasoning seem to be impaired in your mother, than there is a possibility that she is having some of the signs and symptoms of dementia. It is often a caretaker that will be the first to notice these symptoms, before the patient or even a doctor is able to clearly identify them. The natural history of most types of dementia is a progressive decline, which will eventually make the diagnosis more clear. That being said, there are many other conditions that can cloud the ability to think, communicate, and reason. You should discuss your concerns with your mother's physician to see if there are any changes or testing that should be done to optimize her health.

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