Every September 21st each year is recognized as World Alzheimer’s Day. Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia that affects memory and impairs daily functions. Alzheimer’s is the 7th most prevalent cause of death in the United States. There is no cure although medications do appear to slow the progression at the early stage. While most sufferers are in the elderly population, there are individuals under the age of 65 who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Early Onset Alzheimer’s is included under the Compassionate Allowances in Social Security Disability. With this diagnosis and an application for benefits, an approval will be fast-tracked. Early Onset Alzheimer’s is a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s in a person under age 65. Alzheimer’s Disease also meets a Medical Listing under Neurocognitive Disorders 12.02. However, once a person reaches his/her full retirement age, the individual is no longer eligible for disability.
Alzheimer’s Disease onset usually begins with memory impairment, followed by learning and language deficits. A person with Alzheimer’s may also exhibit depression, agitation, changes in personality and behavior, restlessness and withdrawal. A diagnosis is made by clinical and family history and neuropsychological testing. A clinical diagnosis can only occur post-mortem with a brain biopsy.