In the age of retirement at 65… “Juvenile Dementia” in the working-age population can be improved with early treatment. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

In the age of retirement at 65… “Juvenile Dementia” in the working-age population can be improved with early treatment.

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Onset in “working age” in 40s and 50s…also a factor for young caregivers

We tend to think of dementia as a disease of the elderly. However, there are nearly 40,000 people each year with juvenile dementia who develop the disease when they are under 65 years old.

Although the number of people with juvenile dementia is one-hundredth that of the elderly, it is much more serious than dementia in the elderly because it occurs in people who are in their prime.

In their 40s and 50s, their children may be in high school or college, but they may not be able to attend school due to financial reasons, or they may become young caregivers, which has become a hot topic recently,” he says.

They may also become young caregivers, which is a hot topic these days,” says Dr. Takashi Asada, Director of Memory Clinic Ochanomizu. Dr. Asada’s clinic is visited by about 100 young dementia patients from all over Japan. Juvenile dementia occurs in half of both men and women.

According to a survey by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, 5.7% of second-year public junior high school students (about 1 in 17) and 4.1% of second-year public full-time high school students (about 1 in 24) said they have a family member who is taking care of them

There is no established treatment for dementia, according to the report. Is there any hope for recovery if the disease strikes at a young age?

What is dementia? Dementia is defined as a state in which cognitive functions have deteriorated to the extent that it interferes with daily life due to neurodegenerative diseases, cerebrovascular diseases, or other diseases.

Although Alzheimer’s disease is the most well-known, there are believed to be more than 70 causes of dementia. Some of them are treatable.”

In August 2011, “Recanemab” was approved as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, and the drug price was set at 2.98 million yen per year (for a person weighing 50 kg). It is attracting worldwide attention for slowing the progression of symptoms, but this does not solve all dementia problems (PHOTO: AFRO)

Some Dementias Are “Treatable

According to Dr. Asada, diseases such as normal pressure hydrocephalus, hypothyroidism, epilepsy, and even vitamin deficiency can cause the same symptoms as dementia.

Tests can tell if a disease is causing the symptoms.

Once the disease is identified through tests, MRI scans, blood tests, and various other tests, all that is needed is surgery or medication, and the symptoms of dementia will improve. The onset of symptoms of dementia does not mean that the patient is doomed to despair.

Recently, it has been discovered that ADHD can also be a symptom of dementia.”

ADHD is called “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder,” and is characterized by distractibility and a tendency to forget or misplace things.

Until then, I had managed to get by with hard work, but in my 40s and 50s, I began to forget things and my inattentiveness became more noticeable. So more and more people are coming to our clinic thinking they have dementia.

If it is ADHD, it can be treated with medication.

Even if the dementia is not treatable, early consultation can slow its progression.

If any of the three or more items on the following checklist apply to you, we recommend that you seek diagnosis at a specialized medical institution.

  • □Cannot remember what he/she was just trying to do.
  • □Saying or asking the same thing repeatedly
  • □Forgot appointment to meet someone
  • □I am often looking for something
  • □I try to do something, but then I stop and say, “Oh well.
  • □Disappointed in hobbies that you have enjoyed for a long time
  • □Do not go out as much as I used to
  • □I am not good at making arrangements.
  • □Has trouble using coins at the checkout
  • Cannot say today’s date

The websites of the Japanese Association of Geriatric Psychiatry and the Japan Dementia Society introduce specialists throughout Japan, so if you feel or are told that something is wrong, it would be a good idea to see a doctor.

After the age of 65, the number of people with dementia doubles and triples…

Although, I still think I’m doing fine,

But as the retirement age is extended and people work past the age of 65 or even 70, there will be people in the workplace who seem to be suffering from dementia.

According to a survey by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, 2.9% of people between the ages of 65 and 69 suffer from dementia, while 4.11% of those between 70 and 74 suffer from dementia, and 13.6% of those between 75 and 79 suffer from dementia. Until the patient is unaware of the condition, he or she may have to cover for mistakes or be responsible for the increased workload of co-workers.

The problem with juvenile dementia is that it affects the working-age population. As the population ages, dementia will increase among the working-age population. I think this will be a serious problem.

People with lifestyle-related diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes are more likely to develop dementia. If these diseases are the cause of dementia, Dr. Asada says that early detection of the disease may lead to a U-turn from dementia. Whether it is juvenile dementia or dementia in old age, one should see a doctor if they feel something is wrong.

Some forms of dementia can be cured. If you feel something is wrong, please see a specialist,” says Dr. Asada.

Takashi As ada is involved in the basic and clinical treatment of dementia diseases, particularly Alzheimer’s disease, and is a leading expert in functional brain imaging. In addition to his research on the effects of music therapy and painting therapy on brain function, he has attracted attention for being the first in the world to clarify the effects of lifestyle improvements such as exercise, diet, and naps of 30 minutes or less on the prevention of dementia. He has also contributed to the promotion of dementia countermeasures through his efforts in large-scale surveys on the prevalence of juvenile and senile dementia. He is also active in giving lectures to family members of dementia patients and people working in the fields of care and welfare. He is the author of “What people who made a U-turn from the gray zone of dementia are doing” (Ascom), “What is dementia in the first place? (Gakken) and others.

  • Interview and text Izumi Nakagawa

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