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China. The youngest case of Alzheimer’s. Diagnosed with the disease at the age of 19, he had to drop out of school

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A 19-year-old Chinese boy has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, the youngest known case, Chinese scientists say. A teenager with symptoms characteristic of this disease gradually lost his memory for two years, until he was finally unable to continue his studies in high school. The researchers emphasize that never before had the symptoms of Alzheimer’s been diagnosed in such a young person.

The conclusions of the 19-year-old’s research were published by a team of Chinese researchers from the Beijing University Hospital on January 31 in the international scientific journal “Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease”. As the authors pointed out, the young man came to the doctors because his memory was gradually deteriorating.

Over the next two years, he lost his belongings more and more often, could not remember whether he had eaten or not, and could not finish his homework. Eventually, due to worsening symptoms, he had to drop out of high school. unable to return home on her own. His performance on a verbal test to assess learning ability was abnormal, suggesting that his memory was damaged.

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The youngest case of Alzheimer’s

The authors of the study found that the patient had symptoms typical of Alzheimer’s, including memory loss and damage to the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory processes and feeling emotions. “This is the youngest patient whose case has ever been reported and whose symptoms coincided with those characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease, while having no known genetic mutations” – explained the authors of the study.

As indicated, so far almost all people under 30 who have been diagnosed with these types of symptoms have also been diagnosed with genetic mutations. But even in them, the disease was not diagnosed as early as in the 19-year-old – so far the youngest patient was 21 years old.

According to the researchers, the case of a Chinese teenager may mean the need to change thinking about Alzheimer’s disease, previously associated only with the elderly. Prof. George Perry of the University of Texas, editor-in-chief of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, noted the “heterogeneous nature of (Alzheimer’s – ed.) dementia that can affect people of all ages.” ‘This discovery could decouple Alzheimer’s disease from the complex aging process and open the way to new concepts,’ he said.

Alzheimer’s – symptoms, course of the disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease that leads to dementia. It mainly affects people over the age of 65, but the first pathological changes in the brain, and with it the early symptoms, appear even around the age of 50. The disease lasts from 8 to 20 years, slowly depriving the patient of the ability to live independently. According to the authors of the report “Alzheimer’s disease – a health challenge and economic burden in an aging society”, published in March 2022, the number of people suffering from this disease in Poland reaches 580,000.

Alzheimer’s patients have problems with concentration, remembering even the simplest information, they cannot keep up with the conversation, they confuse the facts, they cannot find places they know the way to well.

Alzheimer’s diseasePAP/DPA

SEE ALSO: At the age of 57, she heard that she had Alzheimer’s, but the first symptoms had appeared a few years earlier. Describes what

Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, South China Morning Post, tvn24.pl

Main photo source: Shutterstock



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