Early Onset Alzheimer's Q and A

What special challenges do individuals and families face when given an early onset Alzheimer's diagnosis?

I think the biggest challenge is that fact that they tend to get the disease at an early stage. And if they know that they have early onset AD, it affects the whole family. It affects the children, siblings — because they are all worried that they will get the disease. But the other side is that the earlier they are diagnosed, the more time they will have to be able to put their life order. — Dr. Zaven Khachaturian, former director of Alzheimer's Research at the National Institutes of Health and Senior Advisor to the Chicago, Ill-based Alzheimer's Association.

Are there any resources available to help those who receive such a diagnosis cope and manage their personal affairs?

The Alzheimer's Association maintains a nationwide network of chapters and support groups for the affected individuals and for the members of their families. The National Institute on Aging supports a national network of Alzheimer Disease Clinical and Research Centers, all of which provide community outreach, education and support. — Dr. Sam Gandy, director of the Farber Institute for Neurosciences at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pa..

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