Signs of early onset dementia include episodes of forgetfulness and confusion, trouble keeping track of time, losing the ability to communicate clearly, changes in mood, being unable to navigate a familiar setting, and becoming more repetitive, reports Healthline. These signs can be mild at first and easily overlooked.
Dementia occurs when brain cells become damaged. It's not a specific disease; it's a collection of symptoms caused by another underlying condition, reports Healthline. Alzheimer's disease accounts for 50 to 70 percent of dementia cases, but it can also be caused by Parkinson's or Huntington's disease or stroke and other vascular diseases. HIV and other infections are also possible causes of dementia. It's a progressive condition, meaning symptoms will show up slowly or not be as noticeable at first and then worsen as time goes on, states the Alzheimer's Association.
Though no cure for dementia and Alzheimer's exists as of March 2015, memory problems caused by excess alcohol, medication side effects, depression and vitamin deficiencies may improve with treatment, the Alzheimer's Association reports. Medications are available to help manage dementia symptoms, and some benefit from health aids or in-home caregivers, according to Healthline. As the disease progresses and symptoms worsen, assisted living facilities or nursing homes may be a necessary course of treatment.