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by Dr Kate Jefferies and
Dr Niruj Agrawal
Published: December 2006
This module is being updated.
Lishman defined dementia as 'an acquired global impairment of
intellect, memory and personality but without impairment of
Early onset dementias present before the age
of 65 years. They are much rarer than dementia in later life
and there is a wider differential diagnosis.
Accurate diagnosis requires a comprehensive
assessment and investigations. It is important to identify any
treatable causes of dementia, as well as genetic conditions
which may impact on the family of the patient. Longer-term
support is also vital to help manage the cognitive,
neuropsychiatric and behavioural symptoms that often accompany
This module looks at different types of
assessment for early onset dementia as well as the
various possible causes. Recommendations are also made for
treatment and overall management.
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Download take-home notes to print and