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early symptons


Registered User
Mar 5, 2007

Im just wondering if anyone knows what the earliest possible symptons of pre-senile dementia i.e. personallity changes, moods, depression etc.

My boyfriends dad died of dementia when he was just 42 yrs old and my boyfriend remembers him being taken into hospital at 37 yrs old. His dads sister, cousin and dad also had dementia and have all died at approx 42 yrs old.

My boyfriend obviously worries that he too may get dementia - he is 36 in August - and he seems to be distancinig himself from me and his two children. Im unsure whether to think that this is some very early sign of dementia or if its due to him going through a divorce from a previous marraige.

So I just wondered if anyone had any advice on what to look out for with regards to very early signs. :confused:

Many thanks in advance.


Registered User
Oct 28, 2005
Cambridgeshire UK
Hi jaysc,

Of course your boyfriend is going to worry since some of his family have died from dementia so young. That really WAS young! Hopefully he is worrying about the fact that he's coming up to the age when his Dad was taken to hospital, that's probably stressing him and worrying him but of course divorce also is a huge thing. My husband was 52 when he first started with dementia, he made mistakes at work, couldn't read road signs and follow them I always had to be there to direct him and he'd driven around London for many years. He worked and was Corgi Registered and a very clever man. He really had me worried one day when he couldn't remember how to wire a plug, he must have done thousands of them over the years. He couldn't fit a new sink in the kitchen and he was a kitchen fitter of many years. Everyone is different of course as you will have read on here and you just notice things that you know aren't right. If you are really worried that he is being forgetful, ask him to see his GP and have a chat. He will probably know if the signs are there of if he's just deprressed.

My husband is 56 now and has been in a secure unit at a hospital for the past 5 months and is about to move into a home, he went downhill very quickly last August but no two people are ever the same and your boyfriend is hopefully just depressed about his divorce and the fact that he's got to the age almost that his Dad was when he went into hospital.

Best wishes,



Registered User
Mar 5, 2007
Thanks for the reply, I will read through the links you have supplied.

His Grandad, Dad, Auntie, Cousin (who was daughter of the auntie) have all got dementia in their late 30's and died at approx 42 yrs old. So there is some genetic thing going on. Although his Dad's brother and his Auntie's brother are both ok so far. Its like 1 out of 3 might get it.

My boyfriend has got a brother and two sisters. He did mention that they can be tested for it as there is a gene (I think), do you know what they call this type of dementia?


Registered User
Mar 5, 2007
Thanks Twink,

I just wondered if the symptons were all of a sudden or slowly creep up on them. He forgets little things like where he puts his keys etc, but don't we all. Sometimes I think we worry cos we know its a possibility.


Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
Hello jaysc

I suspect that all of us who have come into contact with someone with dementia will worry from time to time, when we forget a name, or the keys, or something like that.

Often we will try and keep our fears to ourselves, and that tends to make us more introverted and fearful.

You speak of divorce, and that is something that can produce both depression and an excess of things for the mind to handle. Together these may therefore spawn some forgetfulness. With keys, I know that I'm fine as long as I stick to what I normally do - but if I change my routine possibly because of being distracted, I then have to think of the myriad of places I might have put them. Such things can happen to people all the time.

For you it is a difficult balance of not overloading your boyfriend with more worries at present, I would think - while trying to reassure him.

Imagine what he might feel if he has temporarily withdrawn into himself because of the divorce, and then someone suggests he might have early symptoms of dementia.

I'd just be there for him, and if he says something you feel is relevant, try and tease a little more out, and try to reassure him - whatever the problem.

It's a tough one, so just take it slowly, a step at a time....

[just my suggestion, of course]


Registered User
Jul 25, 2005
Hi Jaysc

Your boyfriend's family are very unlucky. With such as strong family history, there seems little doubt that those family members who had young onset dementia had the genetic type. However, this does not mean your boyfriend will definitely get it, but of course it does mean there is a chance.

Even with young onset dementia, it is very very rare to develop it your 40s or 30s. It is possible perhaps that your boyfriend's grandfather and other famil were older than 42, but that as it was a while back, the information has been passed to you wrongly. Most people who have young onset dementia (including my mum) are diagnosed in their 50s.

I advise your boyfriend to go to his GP to talk about genentic testing. From what you said the dementia could be Alzheimer's or Pick's disease.

Best wishes


Registered User
Dec 22, 2005
hi when my hubby was having tests he was tested for famearal alz that is passed down in famliys and allways starts young i dont spell to well so read it as it sounds hope hes ok


Registered User
Nov 2, 2005
Subtle changes

Most of the other replies have been about right. My wife developed Alz at the age of 44. There were subtle changes. Couldn't remember the day of the week, word processing went wrong, forgot to give messages, loss of confidence. She is now 57 and we beleive we will lose her very shortly as ashe is no longer eating or drinking.
Best wishes.


Registered User
Mar 5, 2007
Thanks again for the replies.

His dad was definately 42 when he died - it was pneomonia in the end but brought on by pre-senile dementia - he was taken into Macclesfield hospital when he was about 37 / 38.

We have done a family tree and have got birth and death certificates and his dad and auntie and cousin all passed at 42yrs - his grandad was about 46yrs.

My boyfriend woke up on sunday morning and asked what time was I in work - I told him it was Sunday today and not Monday and he looked all confused. Maybe we all forget the day of the week sometimes but it is a worry.

Sorry to hear about your wife Afghan.

Last edited:


Registered User
Mar 16, 2007
Your situation reminds me of mine

Hi Jayne,

My husbands mother has early onset alzheimers she was diagnosed a couple of years ago at approx 47. Her father had it and died at 55 – hence were pretty sure its the familiaral kind (inherited). Apparently if your parent has it then you have 1:2 chance of getting it, the doctors are fairly sure that its genetic however they never say 100%.

We are trying to arrange to get an appointment at the moment to go and see an expert to discuss the situation and our options regarding testing etc. Apparently the test is not 100% definate. My husband dosen't want to take the test but i feel it would be good just to ask some questions regarding our situation given the fact we are considering starting a family.

Its a difficult situation for you as it could be that your boyfriend is anxious as he reaches 37 not only for himself but also his children, and this is making him depressed. On the other hand it could be dementia.

One thing the situation has taught me is to try and stay positive and live life to the full.

Best of Luck,
Claz :)


Registered User
Mar 5, 2007
Thanks Claz for the info,

Its difficult as would you want to know?

It does worry him but he then hides this with jokes etc by saying he would forget about it anyway I guess thats his way of dealing with it. Its a tough one and I can understand why not knowing would be best.

It is a 50-50 chance and fingers crossed maybe one day there will be something they can do - we had our stem cells stored with our second child who is now 5 months old - I belive one day there will be a cure maybe if stem cells cannot help my boyfriend they might be able to help our children in the future.

I guess we could all go out tomorrow and get run over by a bus so you are right live life to the full - some children are born handicapped.

Jayne x


Registered User
Mar 18, 2007
inheriting dementia

my dad has been diagnosed with picks disease at the age of 60. And although nobody put a name on it, his father had dementia from a similar age.

So in a selfish way, I look at my dad, and wonder is this what I am going to turn out like. I am 40 next year and the more I read about my father's illness the more and more concerned I get. I don't want to talk about it to my mother as I don't think she is too aware of the genetic implications nor my brother. I also feel really selfish but I have to admit I am beginning to wonder what lies ahead.

Does anyone else share similar worries.

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Hi Juggler,

I think we all worry about our genes when close family members develop any form of dementia.

All I can suggest is you see your GP and ask him/her. S/he probably won`t be able to give you a definite answer but it will be more informed than anything I can tell you.

When my mother developed dementia, we had the same GP and he said he`d monitor me. I think it was for his own research as much as my benefit, but then I moved County, so it couldn`t continue.

Take care


Registered User
Apr 10, 2007
Vancouver Island, Canada
My husband is just very recently diagnosed with an Early Onset Dementia. Looking back - I think the very first change was that he became a lot quiter and withdrawn when he was with quite a few people. He also lost his clever sense of humor - he used to use a lot of puns etc - it's only lately I realize that's gone. Then there were quite a few times he'd turn the wrong way on a road, or go to a place not using the most convenient route. After that there were times he'd forget to do what I asked - eg I'd ask him to pick up four or five things from the shop on the way home from work ,and one or two would be forgotten. I think he had problems with calculations earlier on but didn't tell me.


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