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Invited Commentary
September 23, 2013

Young-Onset Dementia: Unanswered Questions and Unmet Needs

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor
  • 2Department of Internal Medicine, Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • 3Department of Neurology and Stroke Program, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor
JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(17):1619-1620. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.8090

We think of dementia as an illness of the old. Regan described the senility of her father, King Lear, as “the infirmity of his age.”1 However, dementia can affect younger or middle-aged adults. Approximately 200 000 Americans younger than 65 years have dementia.2 Young-onset dementia (YOD) represents 4% to 10% of all dementia cases.2 By convention, YOD is defined as dementia occurring before age 65 years, although this age criterion is a sociological construct.

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