A 19-year-old boy has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. The disease was identified by a team of Chinese doctors after analyzing the results of the tests to which the young man was subjected, who accused difficulties in studying and significant loss of memory in a short time.
The clinical case of the young patient was described by a Chinese research team led by scientists from the National Clinical Research Center for Geriatric Diseases in Beijing.
Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease is a rare form of dementia that affects people under the age of 65. It accounts for 5 to 10 percent of all cases of Alzheimer’s disease. Almost all patients with Alzheimer’s under 30 have genetic mutations (PS1, PS2, APP) that predispose to the disease. However, the adolescent did not have any of the genetic mutations identified so far linked to dementia and this makes the case unique because it would have been a very rare sporadic onset.
The 19-year-old was a model student. The odyssey began two years ago: among the first symptoms there was difficulty with studying, then a progressive cognitive deterioration, i.e. short-term memory loss, slower reaction times, difficulty reading and other ailments.
His memory gradually declined: he often lost his things, couldn’t remember whether or not he had eaten, couldn’t finish his homework. Eventually the student had to leave high school to turn to the experts who now keep him under observation and in care.