Early on-set or just a poor memory?


Registered User
May 15, 2003
W Sussex
Hi all

Is there a clear way of telling the difference? As a 37 year old who has always had a fairly poor memory, I am now finding it increasingly difficult to remember names of people I may see even on semi-regular basis.

I work from home and my wife has a part time job during the day. For the 2nd time in two weeks I have simply forgotten to go and collect her. She has had to ring me and say "Where are you?. I am tempted to say that "I just got involved with work and didn't notice the time" But she said today she was getting increasingly worried about the matter.

Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated.



Registered User
Apr 28, 2003
early on set or ...?

Hello Shanks
My view is that whilst it would be very unusual for someone to develop dementia at the age of 37, it's not unkown. Of the 750,000 people with dementia in the UK, most are over 65 but about 18,500 are under 65. Most of these will be closer to 65 than closer to your age.

However poor memory, and forgetfulness generally, can be caused by a number of medical or psychological conditions. These can range from vitamin deficiencies or thyroid gland problems to stress or depression or even a brain tumour. They can only be diagnosed (and treated) by someone who is suitably qualified so I would suggest your first port of call is your own doctor, if only to settle your own, and your wifes, worries.

Perhaps the approach to take is like a clean sheet of paper - not 'I might have dementia' but 'I'm worried about my forgetfulness, let's find out what's causing it'. This doesn't sound like anything urgent but, if you're anything like me about getting around to going to the doctor - make the appointment now!

oh, and let us know how you get on.