Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter
There is a new form of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) identified as “Progressive Dysexecutive Syndrome (dAD), the onset of which is by age 40.
dAD and its specific physical and psychological signs and symptoms as well as characteristics, were recently uncovered by a 20-member panel of neurologists and allied practitioners from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota (US), baffled for some time by a distinctive set of degenerative mental capabilities of AD patients from age 50.
Mayo Clinic Neurology assistant professor Dr David T Jones shed light on dAD through an email interview. He is among the researchers-authors of the “Progressive Dysexecutive Syndrome due to Alzheimer’s Disease: A Description of 55 Cases and Comparison to Other Phenotypes” published in “Brain Communications on May 27, 2020.
The research was undertaken with the assistance of the 55 willing AD patients–34 women and 21 men; as according to Jones, through the course of the individual collective work of the medical team, “often” have they come across “atypical clinical phenotypes (physical and psychological characteristics) of AD.
Bottom line was the need for possible AD patients and those already afflicted to get and receive at the quickest possible time proper and accurate diagnostics and treatment as well as ample support.
The 55 participated so that others on the same boat, yet clueless, would no longer suffer from any mis-diagnosis or delayed diagnosis which Jones also pointed out in the interview.
Jones said that worldwide and among the 50 million cases of dementia--slow down of mental capabilities and abilities that one fails to become independent in his daily functions--30 million to 35 million or 60 to 70 per cent are AD-stricken and basically are forgetful.
AD manifests from 30 to 65 years old.
On the research, the 55 were between 54 and 57 years old. They underwent several clinical diagnostics, including brain scans and genetics.
Though a number of them have in their respective genealogies history of dementia, the results of the genetics tests were all negative and therefore dAD, so far is not genes-related.
From the research, it was concluded that due to the impairment of/on the executive brain functions of the 55 in relation to abstract thinking and information streaming, dAD sufferers find multi-tasking having become difficult to accomplish since the working memory has weakened.
Jones said: “It is analogous to an overloaded RAM on a computer that will slow down when too many programmes are open at one time.”
Other dAD manifestations are “trouble completing tasks with multiple steps, playing board games with family, following directions and recipes, learning new computer software, mental calculations, organising personal calendars, and/or planning and executing projects at home or at work.”
These signs and symptoms had been previously ignored by the medical and scientific community and so as in the case of the 55 AD patients-research participants, their conditions have worsened through time.
Jones’s advice is for everyone to seek medical advice when cognitive issues begin to or have erupted; albeit, executive and memory problems are considered part of aging He said cognitive issues may be related to AD and its related disorders. He added some cognitive concerns are a result of treatable conditions and should not be alluded to as AD.
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