Young-onset dementia

Dulanji K. Kuruppu, Brandy R. Matthews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Young-onset dementia is a neurologic syndrome that affects behavior and cognition of patients younger than 65 years of age. Although frequently misdiagnosed, a systematic approach, reliant upon attainment of a detailed medical history, a collateral history, neuropsychological testing, laboratory studies, and neuroimaging, may facilitate earlier and more accurate diagnosis with subsequent intervention. The differential diagnosis of young-onset dementia is extensive and includes early-onset forms of adult neurodegenerative conditions including Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia, Lewy body dementias, Huntington's disease, and prion disease. Late-onset forms of childhood neurodegenerative conditions may also present as young-onset dementia and include mitochondrial disorders, lysosomal storage disorders, and leukodystrophies. Potentially reversible etiologies including inflammatory disorders, infectious diseases, toxic/metabolic abnormalities, transient epileptic amnesia, obstructive sleep apnea, and normal pressure hydrocephalus also represent important differential diagnostic considerations in young-onset dementia. This review will present etiologies, diagnostic strategies, and options for management of young-onset dementia with comprehensive summary tables for clinical reference.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)365-385
Number of pages21
JournalSeminars in neurology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2013


  • dementia/reversible
  • early-onset dementia
  • neurodegenerative disease
  • young-onset dementia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology

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