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19-year-old man becomes youngest person to ever be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease

19-year-old man becomes youngest person to ever be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease

He had to drop out of his final year of high school after his initial symptoms began to increase.

A teenager in China has become the youngest patient on the planet to receive a probable Alzheimer's disease diagnosis.

Doctors and dementia researchers jumped at the opportunity to study the case and have published their paper in a recent edition of the Journal of Alzheimer’s disease.

"[The study] proposed to pay attention to early-onset Alzheimer’s disease," doctors from the Capital Medical University in Beijing said, as per a statement released by the South China Morning Post.

"Exploring the mysteries of young people with Alzheimer’s disease may become one of the most challenging scientific questions of the future."

The boy is only 19.
Thegiansepillo/Pexels

The team behind the study, led under the watchful eyes of doctors at the of Xuanwu Hospital Innovation Center for Neurological Disorders, said the boy has no family history of the disease or any other known causes of memory impairment.

Which makes his case even rarer.

The teen, understood to be from Beijing, has suffered from symptoms indicative of Alzheimer's Disease from the age of 17.

He has experienced memory loss, difficulty concentrating, delayed reactions, and struggles to read.

Although the teen had relatively normal cerebrospinal fluid, he exhibited a mild case of brain atrophy, which meets the diagnostic criteria for dementia.

By the time he made it to doctors at age 19, he was already struggling to remember recent tasks and incidents, like what he had eaten for dinner the night before.

The teen struggled so much that he was forced to drop out of his last year of high school.

The authors added: "This is the youngest case ever reported to meet the diagnostic criteria for probable [Alzheimer’s disease] without recognised genetic mutations.”

Alzheimer's disease is a neurodegenerative disease that typically starts slow and progressively worsens over time.

It eats away at the nervous system and breaking down communication around the body.

Beta-amyloid protein disrupting nerve cells function in a brain with Alzheimer's Disease.
nobeastsofierce Science / Alamy

It usually presents itself at first as memory loss or brain fog, but eventually the decay within the nervous system can become so intense that whole bodily functions are lost as the nervous system collapses.

Eventually, this results in death.

Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia and usually takes three to nine years to kill, so things aren't looking great for that 19-year-old lad in China.

However, life expectancy can vary from person to person, as per the New England Journal of Medicine.

So fingers crossed for a miracle for him.

Featured Image Credit: tommaso altamura / Alamy Stock Photo. Image Source / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Health, News, World News