Pat Summitt, the former University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers head basketball coach, recently passed away at age 64 due to complications associated with early-onset dementia. Her legacy goes far beyond Tennessee and the basketball court to being a mentor, advocate for women’s athletics and, most recently, as an ambassador for finding a cure for Alzheimer’s.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, approximately five percent of the five million Americans with Alzheimer’s have early-onset. Physicians do not typically look for signs of Alzheimer’s in younger adults, and the diagnosis process may be long. If you are experiencing memory loss, the Alzheimer’s Association recommends:
- Have a comprehensive medical evaluation, which may include medical and neurological components, with a physician who specializes in Alzheimer’s disease.
- Keep a list of examples or symptoms of memory loss to share with your physician.
- No one test confirms Alzheimer’s disease. A diagnosis is only made after a comprehensive medical evaluation.
Treatment is most successful when diagnosed early, so consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns.